When you think of hackers stealing data, it’s largely assumed that they have installed some kind of malware on your PC where your data is being siphoned without your knowledge. This is true, to a certain extent, but it seems that there are other ways that hackers can steal data without necessarily going through the process of installing a trojan.
According to a report from The Hacker News, it seems that hackers have figured out a way to steal information off a computer simply based on the brightness of your display. This makes it a great hack for computers that are standing alone and aren’t connected wirelessly to a network or to other computers.
Researcher Mordechai Guri, the head of the cybersecurity research center at Israel’s Ben Gurion University, explains the process by saying, “In LCD screens each pixel presents a combination of RGB colors which produce the required compound color. In the proposed modulation, the RGB color component of each pixel is slightly changed. These changes are invisible, since they are relatively small and occur fast, up to the screen refresh rate. Moreover, the overall color change of the image on the screen is invisible to the user.”
The monitor can be observed by using a smartphone, a surveillance camera, or a webcam, where the resulting photo/video can then be extracted using image processing.
That being said, this is not the first time that hackers have come up with creative ways to steal information. For example, back in 2019, we heard that there was a technique that could steal passwords simply based on the sound of the user typing.