Is it possible to access a computer's information through the power cable?

Is it possible to access a computer’s information through the power cable?

No, not unless the computer in question was specifically designed to communicate via the power cable.

If you have a Power-line network deployed, then I guess any PC on that network could access another’s information. And if that Power-line network was plugged into a router serving web-access, then that network would have to worry about the outside world too.

But without purposely buying the required hardware and using/deploying it, the answer is no.

Nope not possible. However, there are many interesting methods to gather this information : TEMPEST is an example.


power line is not connected to the data segment of your PC.
There has to be a physical connection between your power line and the data segment of your pc. If there is (as some people use LAN’s using the power lines as the networking) then possibility. If there is no such connection, then the answer is no.

Side Channel Attacks are also an interesting area to read along with what Egemen suggested.
With Siden Channel Attacks, theoritically it is possible to extract the secret key inside a Smart Card used on the keyboard by measuring the changes in the intensity of the LEDs on the keyboard :slight_smile:

Just use a simple hardware keylogger to log all the keystrokes! Afterall, how many people check to see in their business if their desktop has a hardware keylogger planted in their machines! Anyone who has access to the machine could plant one of those.


Thanks for the information, it is good for topics like this to circulate. I found some information on TEMPEST:

very much so!
that’s why we created this board. To make sure to create an educational knowledge center that is interactive and has world’s best security experts.


Heh… This form of acquiring PIN codes and passwords are a constant threat. Just look at the increase in “modified” ATM’s/Cashmachines/Minibanks.
The news once showed the whole front being fake. And the poor sod trying to make a withdraw was standing there with the entire front cover in his hands… ::slight_smile: