Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have developed a way to steal data off of someone’s hard drive by infecting the desired computer with malware and reading data through the blinking LED light that indicates hard drive activity. In their testing, researchers used a drone camera that would fly to the window of the office where the computer was infected. Once at the window, the drone can capture the blinking LEDs, which can blink up to 6,000 times per second. This allows the desired hacker to transmit data very fast over a long distance. Being able to infiltrate a system that is not on the internet is a major concern for highly sensitive systems that utilize the “air gap.” The “air gap” is sometimes seen as an impenetrable defense against highly sensitive systems which are not connected to the internet. By using the computer’s LED light it has the potential for hackers to use a stealthier, higher-bandwidth and longer distance method to infiltrating an air-gapped computer. The researchers believe that the easiest way to circumvent this is by taping the LED light or by keeping highly sensitive systems away from windows.
Article – https://www.wired.com/2017/02/malware-sends-stolen-data-drone-just-pcs-blinking-led/