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© vkoletic dreamstime.com General | February 25, 2016

Mouse leaves security looking like Swiss cheese

Riddle: What does a wireless mouse and the password QWERTY have in common? The answer: They might leave your system security looking like a Swiss cheese.
The community of hackers is never resting, especially those individuals who have malicious intentions. Now, a new ace up their sleeves might leave your computer at risk. And the problem lies, quite literally, in your own hands: The wireless mouse.

According to an article in Threatpost, researchers at Bastille Networks have found that non-Bluetooth devices from several big brands like Logitech, Dell and Lenovo, are vulnerable when it comes to mouse jack attacks. This allows the hacker to, within a distance of 100 meters, use the wireless connection for the unit to install malware and use the computer.

The issue is the USB dongle that the devices use – with the help of radio signals – for the communication. While the keyboard communication tends to be encrypted, the same cannot be said for many computer mouse models. The dongle will, therefore, accept commands from a potential attacker, much like it would a “valid” command.

“Logitech’s Unifying technology was launched in 2007 and has been used by millions of our consumers since. To our knowledge, we have never been contacted by any consumer with such an issue,” Asif Ahsan, Senior Director, Engineering, Logitech, according to Threatpost. “We have nonetheless taken Bastille Security’s work seriously and developed a firmware fix. If any of our customers has concerns, and would like to ensure that this potential vulnerability is eliminated. … They should also ensure their Logitech Options software is up to date.”

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