With computers increasingly cutting off their connection coils, wireless mice and keyboards are the perfect input accessories. But now they have been found to be vulnerable to new new threats for unscrupulous hackers.
For instance, Mousejack exploits a vulnerability found in 80 percent of wireless mice. With US$15 worth of off-the-shelf hardware and a few lines of simple code, a wireless mouse can be turned into a hacker's portal for all kinds of mischief.
Mousejack, which impacts more than a billion wireless mice worldwide, exploits how a wireless device handles its encryption by bypassing this security. This allows a hacker to forge and transmit wireless packets to the USB dongle of a target's mouse and use that to inject keystrokes into that target's computer.
Taking advantage of this ability, an attacker from 225 meters away can type on a target's computer. Typing is a relative term here. The keystrokes sent to the dongle could be automated, which means a hacker could type as fast as 1,000 words a minute thereby executing an attack very quickly.
"You could bring up a command window, type some commands, download some malware, and close the window all in a matter of seconds," say security experts who first discovered the flaw.
Though there have been no attacks recorded so far, still, the vulnerability does pose a large threat not only to consumers but to businesses too. Eighty-two percent of businesses allow their employees to use wireless mice at work, according to a recent survey of 900 organizations.