Don't Type Anything Sensitive On Your Wireless Keyboard

from the watch-what-you-type dept

The Register has yet another story of problems with wireless keyboards that are becoming more common. While they first reported on a similar story a few months back, the current one is a little worse than before. Like last time, someone using the wireless keyboard discovered that everything they were typing was showing up on a neighbor’s computer. Unlike last time, when HP (makers of the keyboard) claimed that it was impossible, this time, they simply suggested that the guy (1) speak to all of his neighbors to make sure they’ve set their wireless keyboards to different channels and (2) don’t type anything sensitive on your wireless keyboard. In other words, they suggested (1) the impossible and (2) the ridiculous. In the end, HP has solved this problem by absolving themselves of responsibility: they will no longer guarantee the security of the keyboards. How nice. I’m almost surprised they didn’t change their tune and call it a “feature”. They could call it “TypeSharing” or something inane like that. Either way, as more and more things go wireless, making sure that these sorts of mixups don’t happen is going to become increasingly important.

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Comments on “Don't Type Anything Sensitive On Your Wireless Keyboard”

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Nefarious Wheel says:

This happened long ago...

…on a Vax 780 in the days before Ethernet, with VT100 terminals connected directly to the backplane via RS232. One terminal was displaying the same as another, but it wasn’t plugged into the host at all. Spooky. Turned out to be simple inductive coupling — perfect crosstalk between two wires bundled together. Moral: it’s electricity, mate. Don’t turn your brain off because it’s digital 😉

KR says:

Re: wireless keyboard

This may be a bit overblown, and not all wireless keyboards are as bad as the one described. For example the Logitech cordless elite duo uses encrypted channels. The only odd thing I found with this is that encrypted channels is not the default and you have to go through a (fairly easy and quick) process to enable the encryption. This encryption capability was actually a key (no pun intended) part of deciding which wireless keyboard I would buy.

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