System Bus Radio
This program transmits radio on computers / phones without radio transmitting hardware.
Some computers are intentionally disconnected from the rest of the world. This includes having their internet, wireless, bluetooth, USB, external file storage and audio capabilities removed. This is called “air gapping”. Even in such a situation, this program can transmit radio.
Publicly available documents already discuss exfiltration from secured systems using various electromagnetic radiations. This is documented in the TEMPEST guidelines published by the US National Security Agency and the US Department of Defense. This project simply adds to that discussion.
How to use it
Using _mm_stream_si128 folder and compile using
make. (There are also other flavors you can
make and try in different folders!)
Run this using a 2015 model MacBook Air. Then use a Sony STR-K670P radio receiver with the included antenna and tune it to 1580 kHz on AM.
You should hear the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” tune playing repeatedly. Other equipment and tuning may work as well. On the equipment above, the author has achieved clear transmission over two meters of open air or one meter through drywall. Different results will be achievable with different equipment.
Are you using an antenna? At the beginning, I placed the antenna directly on top of the number 4 key and that worked best (on any AM frequency). It was a round antenna. Then once I knew it works I moved the antenna back. Moving it back reduced the number of frequencies that it worked on, and eventually only that one (1580 kHz) worked. Different hardware will certainly have different frequency response. Here are some results that have been sent in by readers. Please mail [email protected] with your results (including make and model of all equipment involved) or edit this file directly and create a pull request.
This program runs instructions on the computer that cause electromagnetic radiation. The emissions are of a broad frequency range. To be accepted by the radio, those frequencies must:
- Be emitted by the computer processor and other subsystems
- Escape the computer shielding
- Pass through the air or other obstructions
- Be accepted by the antenna
- Be selected by the receiver
By trial and error, the above frequency was found to be ideal for that equipment. If somebody would like to send me a SDR that is capable of receiving 100 kHz and up then I could test other frequencies.
The actual emissions are caused by the
_mm_stream_si128 instruction that writes through to a memory address. Inspiration for using this instruction was provided in:
Guri, M., Kachlon, A., Hasson, O., Kedma, G., Mirsky, Y. and Elovici, Y., 2015. GSMem: data exfiltration from air-gapped computers over GSM frequencies. In 24th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 15) (pp. 849-864).
Please note that replacing
_mm_stream_si128 with a simple
x++; will work too. My experience has been that
_mm_stream_si128 produces a stronger signal. There may be other ideas that work even better, and it would be nice to improve this to be more portable (not require SSE extensions).
The program uses square wave modulation, which is depicted below:
|<--------------------TIME-------------------->| | | |‾|_|‾|_|‾|_____________|‾|_|‾|_|‾|_____________ | | | | |<------SIGNAL--------->| | | | | |<->| CARRIER
Notes on high precision time APIs:
- Get current time
- mach_absolute_time() gives time in int64_t of nanoseconds
- Converting to nanoseconds https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/qa/qa1398/_index.html
- Declared https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1456.1.26/osfmk/mach/mach_time.h
- Definition https://opensource.apple.com/source/Libc/Libc-320/i386/mach/mach_absolute_time.c
- clock_get_time() gives a mach_timespec_t time
- Called from mach_absolute_time()
- Type documentation https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Darwin/Conceptual/KernelProgramming/services/services.html
- Declaration https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1456.1.26/osfmk/mach/clock_types.h
- Notes https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/technotes/tn2169/_index.html
- Apple doc https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Darwin/Reference/ManPages/man2/nanosleep.2.html
- Definition https://opensource.apple.com/source/Libc/Libc-320.1.3/gen/nanosleep.c?txt
- Used from nanosleep()
- Declared https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1456.1.26/osfmk/mach/mach_traps.h
- Definition http://unix.superglobalmegacorp.com/xnu/newsrc/osfmk/kern/clock.c.html
- Uses clock_sleep_internal()
- Uses ADD_MACH_TIMESPEC
- clock type constants https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1456.1.26/osfmk/mach/clock_types.h?txt
- Defines ADD_MACH_TIMESPEC(t1, t2) // t1 += t2
- Defines CMP_MACH_TIMESPEC(t1, t2) // t1 <=> t2, also (t1 - t2) in nsec with max of +- 1 sec
- msleep() https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Darwin/Conceptual/KernelProgramming/services/services.html
- time/timer.c / http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/kernel/time/timer.c#L1673
- kern/clock.h https://opensource.apple.com/source/xnu/xnu-1456.1.26/osfmk/kern/clock.h