Apart from official IT Security events, London ethical hackers like to organize monthly meetings such as DC4420 in clubs, sometimes changing their location. In an informal manner they exchange their experience, represent new ideas and technologies.
We learned about this event first from icesurfer
who follows us on twitter
when he dropped by our booth at InfoSecurity Europe 2009
to say hello and so we’ve been lucky to get an invitation to this underground “techno-party”.
After a busy day at the exhibition talking to all from sales guys to journalists this warm and welcome gathering tempted us to stay longer. However, our plane (back to Moscow) was to take off the next morning that is why we could only hear the first presentation (out of three) and to be frank got an over-the-top-pleasure hearing it.
In brief, Andrea Barisani and Daniele Bianco explained how one could find out what is being typed on the keyboard through searching electric signal oscillation registered on a common power socket or even water-pipe. All accompanied by humorous visuals starred by both speakers.
The second part of presentation introduced a new approach to a pretty known technology for electronic-acoustic reconnaissance – using laser microphone for registering sound vibration as far as 200-300m away. The idea is not fresh, and usually a common window serves as sound reflector. But our techies decided to use laptop cover/display for recording vibrations caused by pressing different keys on the keyboard. Each key has its particular sound. After analyzing laser vibration we get possible variants of typed text. Provided we know what language is being used, it is not a problem to find a right variant.
Smart presentations sandwiched between informal chatting and drinking beer gives an absolute sense of belonging to the world of wayward technologies.