Visible to the public Covert Data Exfiltration Using Light and Power Channels

TitleCovert Data Exfiltration Using Light and Power Channels
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsCronin, Patrick, Gouert, Charles, Mouris, Dimitris, Tsoutsos, Nektarios Georgios, Yang, Chengmo
Conference Name2019 IEEE 37th International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD)
Date PublishedNov. 2019
ISBN Number978-1-5386-6648-7
KeywordsAir gapped networks, Bluetooth, Bluetooth controlled light bulb, composability, compositionality, computer network security, covert channel communications, covert channels, covert data exfiltration, Data Exfiltration, embedded security, exfiltration attacks, free-space optical communication, Internet of Things, IoT, light emitting diodes, myriad security risks, Optical covert channels, power channels, Power covert channels, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, RGB LED, Scalability, standard off-the-shelf smart bulbs

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand into every facet of our daily lives, security researchers have warned of its myriad security risks. While denial-of-service attacks and privacy violations have been at the forefront of research, covert channel communications remain an important concern. Utilizing a Bluetooth controlled light bulb, we demonstrate three separate covert channels, consisting of current utilization, luminosity and hue. To study the effectiveness of these channels, we implement exfiltration attacks using standard off-the-shelf smart bulbs and RGB LEDs at ranges of up to 160 feet. We analyze the identified channels for throughput, generality and stealthiness, and report transmission speeds of up to 832 bps.

Citation Keycronin_covert_2019