I’m going to air gap my computer, so I don’t have to worry about viruses, malware, ransomware, and other security threats.
A typical security measure to prevent access to extremely sensitive data is to air gap the machines accessing the data, so the machines are not connected to external networks including the Internet. However, researchers have developed multiple communication paths that circumvent computers on air gap networks.
Electromagnetic. Reading EM radiation from the memory bus to leakage from USB ports and cables. [Fix: EM shielding]
Acoustic. Popular because hacked smartphone microphones can pick up audio signals that humans can’t differentiate from background hum. A recent trend is using ultrasonic sounds which are inaudible and offer higher bandwidth.
Thermal. While this has been demonstrated but the bandwidth is only a few tens of bits per second over a short distance.
Optical. Ubiquitous LEDs on almost any system can transmit significant amounts of data to a watching surveillance camera
Power Lines. Both sending data over powerlines inside the target building and outside the electrical service panel.
The research has turned into actual data hacks via air gaps.
Air gapping machines and data can still be a valuable extra layer of defense for protecting sensitive data. Recommended actions to get the most of your air gap solution:
SecureCircle can provide a data protection solution that regardless if the source information is stored on an air-gapped machine or stored in a public cloud storage location, data is always protected from unauthorized access. SecureCircle’s patent-pending Transparent File Encryption is Always Encrypted, Always Retractable, Always Tracked, and Always Portable.