May 12th, 2009 by Vladimir Katalov

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.

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6 Comments on "DC4420"

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Are they real hackers? 🙂

Olga Koksharova
Olga Koksharova

In fact, it’s a common tendency to use a word “hacker” in all possible meanings (either positive or negative), so usually one can distinguish between bad-hacker-meaning and good-hacker-meaning only by context. That is why some people specify the term by adding adjectives like “ethical”, “evel”, or “malicious”.

There was a nice article about it, called ‘Hacker vs. cracker’ (http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=1400). So in the end, meaning of a word practically depends on what speaker wants to say.

Robert Lee
Hi, Now Vladimir I know what you look like after several years of emails! Really like getting your emails and the good info and links. I cut my teeth on machine code and really liked the nuts and bolts of making a computer work for us. Took a different path and got a way for it and now am so far behind I will never catch up. So enjoy the picture of where things are in your emails. Still wish you all would make your good programs work on a good platform of Linux. Keep up the good work and… Read more »
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I have windows 7 64-bit on a HP laptop and a WD Elements HDD (model number: WD10000EB035-01) I have had this HDD for over a year now and it has always worked on all XP, Vista and 7 machines I’ve connected it with. Yesterday it still worked fine, pc was shut down without any problems but then last night when I tried to connect him again, my system had difficulty recognizing him. He made the “found hardware”-sound, but didn’t show the autostart window (or what’s its name again), and it wasn’t displayed in windows explorer. It does show up in… Read more »