Backchannel: computers can talk to each other with heat


#1

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#2

So this communications channels runs at .001 bits per second? As in it could transmit a 2048-bit private key (with no metadata) in about 19 days?


#3

The time it took them to increase the heat and transmit a “1” varied
between three and 20 minutes depending. The time to restore the system
to normal temperature and transmit a “0” usually took longer.

As a ‘prototype’, it can be done. Advances in the technology will certainly speed things up. Moore’s Law holds that a computer will be able to provide fiber equivalent speeds in a couple of months. Zoom!


#4

Slow, but if you logged user login IDs and passwords, you wouldn’t need much data to prepare for a compatriot on premises to gain access.


#5

Hooray! We’re now applying Moore’s law to thermal-dynamics!


#6

Seems like some sort of Peltier cooling would speed up this process.


#7

Infrared communication? Where have I heard of this before.


#8

Isn’t it about a week early for this?


#9

It’s in the Palm™ of your hand.


#10

Changing temperature would involve varying the fan speed. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to just use the sound or vibration of the fan. If the other computer has a mic, it would be trivial to detect the noise.
Imagine having a rack of computers, you could theoretically transmit a signal to all of the server simultaneously. If you are listening for a very specific signal on a very specific frequency, you can filter out all the noise.
You wouldn’t even need to use a computer to be the transmitter. You could have a tampered cell phone use a special ringtone to activate the infected computers. Or the phone system, or intercom. You would think that it was just glitching out, but it would really have the instructions embedded.


#11

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