First thing I want you to do is find a secure way of watching this video. Remember they log everyone who watches these videos and since I am linking you to them from Silk Road, they will be watched even closer.
This video shows how using a strong antenna, sitting in a van outside your home, the FBI could be picking up on your keystrokes on a wired keyboard. In fact many people speculate that the new smart meters installed in many homes already have this technology to determine everything you are doing in your home electronically. Wired and wireless keyboards emit electromagnetic waves, because they contain electronic components. This electromagnetic radiation could reveal sensitive information such as keystrokes as shown in the video. Every electrmagnetic wave is unique to the device using it, which gives a person spying on you the ability to tell the difference between you using your computer versus the dishwasher.
According to the people who did this experiment, they were able to extend the range up to 20 meters using relatively cheap technology. This was for wired keyboards by the way, and they go on to explain that wireless keyboards and mouses are even easier. Which brings us to another area of interest, wireless transmissions. Things like wireless keyboards and wireless mice (or mouses?) are vulnerable to eavesdropping as well. If they are not using a strong enough encryption to send data to the receiver, anyone can be listening in on your keystrokes and mouse activity. Probably something most people never thought about either, this is on top of the electromagnetic waves that can also be picked up.
Microsoft has upgraded the weak encryption found on today’s mass-market wireless keyboards with a new design that uses 128-bit AES to secure communication to and from the PC.
Hitherto, keyboard encryption has been weak, with keys chosen from a small palette of possibilities, with one hacking group claiming in 2009 that it had developed a tool specifically to sniff keystrokes from Microsoft keyboards at a range up to a 10 metres.
Are you using wireless technology? How old is it? Might be time to upgrade your equipment. 10 meters is about 33 feet, but remember the technology available to the government could potentially reach beyond that. Then there are other things people forget such as wireless monitors which broadcast your screen to a receiver that can be picked up. Just think about the old antennas people used to have on top of their homes, and how far away those could pick up signals from TV stations, if you had one of those pointed at you in a van across the street, there is no doubt they could be eavesdropping on your activities inside.
One researcher was able to use a wireless signal sent by a smart meter from up to 300 meters away (900 feet) to find out which house it was coming from and what the current power consumption was in plain text. She was then able to use this information to determine when people were and were not home based on average spikes in consumption since the meters pulse every 30 seconds.
The data sent was in plain text and carried the identification number of the meter and its reading. The name of the home owner or the address aren’t included, but anyone motivated enough could quickly figure out the source.
“The meter ID was printed on the front of the meter we looked at, so theoretically you could read the ID [off a target meter] and try to sniff packets,” Xu said.
In her tests, Xu found she was able to pull packets out of the air from target meters between once every 2 to 10 minutes. That’s fast enough to be able to work out the average power consumption of a house and notice start to deduce when someone is at home.
Things like automatic timers that flip switches might be worth investing in to always make it look like someone is home until security researchers start looking into ways to avoid the wide open door we are giving to anyone who wants to find data about us.
What can you do about these types of eavesdropping? Not a whole lot unless you want to start turning into a tin-foil hat type of person. There are some fun things you can do if you want to go crazy with it though as recommended by the following site.
YShield High Frequency Shielding Paint
Easy to apply water-based paint for walls, ceilings, doors and other interior OR exterior surfaces. Very effective for blocking cell phone signals, CB, TV, AM, FM signals, radiofrequency radiation and microwaves. Tested highly effective up to 18 GHz!
There are lots of other things on there as well like drapes, curtains, garments, fabrics and so forth which disrupt the tranmission of these signals. It is completely up to you what you want to do, I am just giving you the options and the education so you can make an educated decision of how far you want to go to protect your privacy.