We have spent some time discussing about the safety of peripherals such as webcams, and a few weeks ago also commented that had vulnerabilities that made it possible attacks through radio wireless keyboards. But there are other components of our PC, such as monitors, nor usually considered dangerous or a door through which attacked.
But a group of researchers has discovered a method that can hack our remote monitor. This not only could play the pixels is showing, can spy without agreeing to our PC, but could also manipulate these pixels to display different images on our monitors.
All through a dormant malware
The first step to access our monitor is to get us to visit malicious web determined or phishing link. Through these two channels, an attacker could insert a piece of code in the firmware of the monitor, which is the program installed to control its parameters.
Attack magic lies precisely in that code that have left inserted in the PC, as it can be programmed to wait a few orders sent through certain flashing pixels. These pixels can be hidden in videos or websites.
In other words, since our PC is infected until it is decided to exploit the infection could pass long enough to lower the guard after entering on a malicious link. So something as innocent as a video uploaded to YouTube by the attacker can trigger the malware that opens wide the doors of our monitor.
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And Cui, Chief Scientist of the company Red Balloon Security and leader of the research, presented its discovery in the framework of the Def Con conference in Las Vegas. There he explained that an infected his attack monitor can be used to spy what we’re seeing, but also to show images that, for example, simulate emergency messages and almost force us to make certain decisions, a danger to consider applied the business world.
However, in the domestic environment the attack would be less effective, because the images take a while to load on the monitor. This makes it dangerous in companies where some control monitors have static screens, but not on a home PC where are always doing different things.
In any case, what Cui and his team want to prove with this attack is that we must not lower our guard or to elements as seemingly harmless as our monitor, a peripheral that we should stop considering in hackeable.