SATAn Turns Hard Drive Cable Into Antenna To Defeat Air-Gapped Security

Maria J. Smith

It looks like [Mordechai Guri]’s lab at Ben-Gurion College is the spot wherever air-gapped desktops go to die, or at minimum to give up their strategies. And this hack using a computer’s SATA cable as an antenna to exfiltrate data is yet another instance of just how lots of side-channel assaults the typical Computer makes accessible.

The exploit, deliciously selected “SATAn,” relies on the truth that the SATA 3. interface utilized in a lot of pcs has a bandwidth of 6. Gb/s, this means that manipulating the computer’s IO would make it feasible to transmit data from an air-gapped machine at about 6 GHz. It is a complicated exploit, of program, and includes placing a transmitting system on the focus on machine employing the common methods, this kind of as phishing or zero-day exploits. As soon as in position, the transmitting system makes use of a combination of browse and publish operations on the SATA disk to produce RF alerts that encode the facts to be exfiltrated, with the info traces within the SATA cable performing as antennae.

SATAn is shown in action in the online video under. It normally takes a even though to transmit just a handful of bytes of info, and the variety is significantly less than a meter, but that could be enough for the exploit to thrive. The check setup works by using an SDR — exclusively, an ADALM PLUTO — and a notebook, but you can very easily envision a substantially scaled-down package remaining developed for a stealthy stroll-by fashion attack. [Mordechai] also offers a likely countermeasure for SATAn, which generally thrashes the difficult push to create RF sound to mask any generated indicators.

When likely constrained in its sensible programs, SATAn is an fascinating facet-channel assault to include to [Dr. Guri]’s checklist of exploits. From optical exfiltration employing protection cameras to turning electric power materials into speakers, the vulnerabilities just hold piling up.

Thanks to [chuckt] for the idea.

[via Bleeping Computer]


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