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An unconventional data exfiltration method leverages a previously undocumented covert channel to leak sensitive information from air-gapped systems.

“The information emanates from the air-gapped computer over the air to a distance of 2 m and more and can be picked up by a nearby insider or spy with a mobile phone or laptop,” Dr. Mordechai Guri, the head of R&D in the Cyber Security Research Centre in the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and the head of Offensive-Defensive Cyber Research Lab, said in a new paper shared with The Hacker News.

The mechanism, dubbed COVID-bit, leverages malware planted on the machine to generate electromagnetic radiation in the 0-60 kHz frequency band that’s subsequently transmitted and picked up by a stealthy receiving device in close physical proximity.

This, in turn, is made possible by exploiting the dynamic power consumption of modern computers and manipulating the momentary loads on CPU cores.

COVID-bit is the latest technique devised by Dr. Guri this year after SATAnGAIROSCOPE, and ETHERLED, which are designed to jump over air-gaps and harvest confidential data.

images from Hacker News