Phones, drones and vacuums used to detect unsecured printers

Researchers in Singapore have developed a method to sniff the perimeter of an organization for unsecured printers.
Researchers in Singapore have developed a method to sniff the perimeter of an organization for unsecured printers.

Researchers in Singapore have developed a method to sniff the perimeter of an organization for unsecured printers as part of a government sponsored cybersecurity project, according to Wired.

By attaching a mobile phone housing two mobile apps they developed to a drone and a robotic vacuum cleaner, student researchers Jinghui Toh and Hatib Muhammad demonstrated in a video released Monday how a similar setup could be used by a hacker from outside a skyscraper or from within a building to covertly intercept data sent from a device to an unsecured Wi-Fi printer. Then, the researchers then showed how the two mobile applications could detect and spoof open Wi-Fi-enabled printers to help organizations thwart an attack.

One app, which Wired said the researchers dubbed "Cybersecurity Patrol," is designed to sniff out the devices so that users can be notified that their devices are vulnerable. The second app has the same "sniffing" functionality but intercepts data instead of simply warning the user. 

The attack zone for their application was a 26-meter radius but the researchers said that by using dedicated software, the radius can be increased. 

Toh and Muhammad developed the applications under the guidance of Professor and research director Yuval Elovici, who heads up the Singapore University of Technology and Design's iTrust cybersecurity research center. 

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