Israeli security researchers have demonstrated how by using cheap components, they can create a very small gadget that captures the radio emissions given off by laptops.

By monitoring these signals, the researchers were able to work out the keys being used by computers to secure data. Following this, the researchers created a portable version, called the Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisition (Pita), which was concealed inside a piece of pitta bread.

The data attack worked within a distance of 50cm and enabled researchers to gain access to keys used in several widely used encryption programs and algorithms to protect data.

The team are looking to extend the capabilities of the gadget and will present their work at a conference on cryptographic hardware in September.

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