Wireless keyboards – are they safe from hackers?

Wireless keyboards – are they safe from hackers?

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For those of us who have invested in a wireless keyboard, this blog, might be a bit concerning as recent reports have suggested that they could be vulnerable to hackers who are able to see every word typed from hundreds of feet away.

First some good news : Bluetooth Wireless keyboards are generally encrypted, so anyone trying to intercept what was being transmitted from the keyboard to the computer would be unable to decipher it.

Now, the not-so-good news : However, in an investigation that was carried out by cyber security company Bastille, they found that hackers could clearly intercept everything that was being typed on certain low-cost wireless keyboards.

You really don’t need me to let you know that unencrypted wireless keyboards may allow hackers access to passwords, bank details, and anything else typed.

Finding a weakness

Security research experts, Bastille, decided to put wireless keyboards to the test and found 8 manufacturers producing vulnerable keyboards. A vulnerable keyboard would allow a hacker, say for example set-up in the office next door, or perhaps across the road in their favourite coffee shop, access an unsuspecting person’s keyboard.

In some cases, hackers could control the computer that the keyboard is connected to, and even type words that were never typed out on the wireless keyboard itself!

The firms who failed to encrypt their wireless keyboard devices have no plans to rectify this issue in the future, and no plans to inform users about it either. Right now, no one knows if hackers are already exploiting this weakness as they can go completely undetected.

How can I protect myself?

The wireless keyboards use radio signals in order to connect to computers, and it is through this that the hackers can possibly see what you are typing. Instead of using keyboards that use radio as a way to connect to computers, one idea is to use a keyboard that uses Bluetooth, or simply use a traditional wired keyboard to be on the safe side.

Bastille found that many of the wireless keyboards would remain vulnerable as it is not possible to update the technology that allows the keyboards to operate. If you do have a vulnerable keyboard, the best suggested course of action is to throw it away and buy one that is encrypted.

A potential claim?

As far as anyone is aware, a data hack has not actually taken place through a wireless keyboard, but you never know, someone may already have been exploited!

If a breach was to happen and it could be linked to a wireless keyboard supplied by a company who did not encrypt their keyboards, it would be worth exploring a claim with us. In cases where a data breach has taken place, customers may be able to claim compensation.

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