Wireless keyboard hacking has become popular. This has prompted many keyboard manufacturers to encrypt their wireless keyboard signals with the AES encryption algorithm. And Logitech being at the frontline of wireless keyboard technology, you may wonder what makes it different from other keyboards. Well, the answer is their keyboards are encrypted. 

But does that deter hackers from devising alternative ways to steal information from your keyboard strokes? Find out in this article.



How is Keyboard Hacking done?

Keyboard hacking can be done in these two ways:

Smartphone Sniffing

Understanding the need for an encrypted keyboard begins with knowing how keyboard hacking is done. Sniffers seek out and grab any traffic you are sending via Bluetooth signals using wireless keyboards. One of the techniques currently gaining popularity is using smartphones for sniffing.

You may be working on your laptop in a crowded environment without knowing someone is sniffing on you with a smartphone. Researchers have found that smartphone sensors can pick up the sound waves produced by our keyboard when we type. 

The gyroscope data detects the weak vibrations reverberating on the typing table while the microphone picks the keystroke sound. This possibility is a huge concern in smartphone use’s popularity and commonness. You can’t always be sure who’s listening or who’s stealing from you. This technique is referred to as “remote hacking.”

Use Of Antenna

Some other hackers use antennas to collect signals and decrypt them. This seems to be the most common approach. They use specialized radio equipment to collect signals transmitted some distance away and then decode them. 

Organizations that work with sensitive data try very hard to be cautious of this technique. They even go as far as disconnecting their data from the internet. They are joking about all this “air-gapping.” They also disable their Bluetooth and don’t connect their computers to internet-enabled ones.

The current cybersecurity situation shows hackers are relentlessly getting around this. Should you be worried? Maybe. The truth is cybersecurity tools aren’t always 100% effective. However, security best practices to mitigate their operation could go a long way in keeping your data from their reach.

How Do I Buy a Secure Wireless Keyboard?

Some wireless keyboards are encrypted between the USB adapter and the keyboard. Some others are not. So, if you’re interested in keeping your passwords and credit card information safe, buying a secure wireless keyboard is a great idea. Before purchasing one, make sure it uses an AES encryption algorithm. 

Keyboards that transmit Bluetooth signals are easily hacked. This is one reason the Logitech wireless keyboard is a preferred option. Some keyboards implement this security option by not using the 2.4GHz range. This, of course, makes them less affordable than conventional keyboards. 

Are Logitech Keyboards Vulnerable to Hacking?

Security research published in 2019 exposed sole severity flaws of Logitech wireless keyboard. These flaws, which are doorways to vulnerabilities, are embedded in the USB dongles, otherwise known as receivers, used by Logitech.

How do attackers exploit this? The vulnerability allows cybercriminals to sniff on the keyboard traffic and, in some cases, inject keystrokes. This is even possible in dongles not connected to a wireless keyboard. Hence, they can take over the computer to which the dongle is connected  to.

How about the encryption? Well, it can be completely overturned because the vulnerabilities allow hackers to recover the encryption key. If the USB dongle employs a blacklist to help stop injected keystrokes, the vulnerabilities can be mitigated.
 

It was also revealed that everything goes downhill when you get hold of the pairing process (or handshake) between a dongle and a wireless accessory. This is because recovering the key used for encrypting the traffic between the two ends means full control; this is advantageous to the attacker.

Shockingly, in a scenario where the cybercriminal has missed the dongle pairing, having physical access enables initiating a re-pairing. This way, the link-encryption key is obtained. All they have to do is unplug and re-plug the dongle. 

You may ask if these vulnerabilities affect all Logitech wireless keyboards. The truth is, all Logitech keyboards that support the Unifying USB dongle are affected.

So are you completely safe while using an encrypted wireless Logitech keyboard? Not exactly, a cybercriminal still needs to access a dongle to hijack the device physically. This offers you the luxury of safeguarding your computer setup. 

How Can Keylogging Be Used to Spy on me?

Ever heard of keylogging? This is one form of spyware popular for hijacking keystrokes. You may innocently enter sensitive data onto your keyboard, thinking it’s safe from prying eyes. 

So, what are keyloggers, and how do hackers use them? Keyloggers are software that monitors your activity, giving hackers access to your private data. Data like this range from your passwords, web pages, and even your credit card details.

The software records everything you type. After recording, it forwards the log file to a server where cybercriminals harvest the data.

What makes keylogging somewhat weird is that it isn’t always illegal. They have a legitimate utility. For example, IT departments employ them to troubleshoot problems. They are also used to keep an eye on the internet activity of an employee. You can also use them to monitor what your underage kids are doing on the internet. 

So with this wide range of applications, it can’t be exempted from exploitation by cybercriminals. A modified term known as keystroke logging is what most keyboard hackers use to steal from an unsuspecting individual. 

Keystrokes are how you communicate with your computer. Every keystroke is a potential signal informing your computer of what should be done. The commands may include the length of the keypress, the velocity and time of the keypress, and so on. 

When logged, information like this seems like eavesdropping on a conversation. This is exactly what keyboard hackers do. Regardless of whether you’re using wireless encryption or not, you should stay vigilant.

Conclusion

Using a wireless encrypted keyboard product like Logitech helps prevent some cyber-attacks. But this doesn’t protect you from everything. Logitech is laden with serious vulnerabilities, making it a frequent target for many hackers.

Keylogging and other methods are used to steal a users’ keystrokes so attackers can guess passwords and attack accounts and identities. As a Logitech wireless keyboard user, how do you prevent keyboard hijacking? Since the attack requires the attacker to have physical access to your keyboard, you need to safeguard them. This is your best shot at fighting off bad actors while using the product.