~e; wireless teletyping

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 3 Nov 2002 20:19:08 -0600

// this is an article just referenced on the TSCM-List, and
// relates to recent issues of wireless wardriving, radio
// scanning picking up signals, some as-yet-unknown device
// capable of picking up wireless videocam data remotely,
// and now- the wireless keyboard (and mouse) is able to
// affect more than one computer when in use. as stated in
// the article, it is likely a shared signal/frequency for
// transmitting commands from a keyboard to its base, and
// may even be boosted like a repeater antenna, by other
// wireless bases, it is guessed. this is amongst the weirdest
// of security breaches in that a user could type their pass-
// word on another's computer screen. else, anyone who may be
// driving by or scanning the frequencies to pick up typed
// commands, as a way to capture data. as mentioned on the
// originating list, Bluetooth wireless was referred to as
// potentially being similar in nature. plus, all frequencies
// in the wireless range interact with all other frequencies
// in a similar range, and so there are potentials for inter-
// ference with appliances and other electronics, though this
// may not be related to security, it has been referred to
// as a type of electrosmog or electropollution of signals,
// without regard to human (or in this case, social) effects.

Cordless keyboard wrote on neighbor's computer

While a Stavanger man typed away at his desktop computer his text was 
also streaming in on his neighbor's machine in a building 150 meters 
away. Hewlett-Packard have never received a complaint like it.


Newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad had an inside track on the weird tech 
story since the incident involved two of their graphics workers.

Per Erik Helle got a jolt when his home computer suddenly seemed to 
develop a life of its own.

"About 10 pm I was sitting and watching TV when the computer, which was 
in sleep mode, suddenly began to buzz. I looked over and noticed it was 
waking up. I also saw a red light on the keyboard's receiver box 
blinking as if I was writing something," Helle said.

A game which he could not remember using that day appeared on the 
screen. When Helle went over to shut it off the screen displayed a 
message asking him if he "really wanted to delete this file?". Not 
knowing what it meant, he answered no to play it safe.

The machine was not finished. A series of beeps and clicks that hinted 
at error messages came so quickly that Helle again got the impression 
someone was writing. So he turned on his word processor.

He saw text ticking in live, and could tell from the message that it 
was his neighbor Per Arild Evjeberg, also his boss at Stavanger 
Aftenblad, who was writing. A phone call quickly confirmed that Helle 
was watching Evjeberg type live.

"If HP can't find a decent explanation for this I don't dare use this 
keyboard. I changed the signal channel and now Per Erik doesn't get it. 
But now I don't know who might be reading what I write as I write it," 
Evjeberg said.

Evjeberg and Helle had received new HP machines from the same company 
and Helle had one time earlier noticed a registration form appear with 
his neighbor's information in it.

HP product manager Tore A. Särelind believes that only a combination of 
unusual circumstances could result in the keyboard signal traveling 150 
meters and through one wooden and one concrete wall.

"With the conditions and distance described we have no logical or 
technical explanation for how this is possible. The keyboard should 
have a theoretical radius of about 20 meters - assuming a clear path 
from keyboard to receiver," Särelind said.

Särelind said the next generation of keyboards would use a new 
technology which would choose randomly between 256 available channels, 
and promised to send both Evjeberg and Helle a copy.

Stavanger Aftenblad reported that another company using the equipment 
claimed that a user managed to type on two computers on different 

fair-use, electromagnetic education, security, wireless effects, 2002 
  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization