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Are wireless keyboards a security risk?


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#1 DaDude

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:11

I use a wireless keyboard at work and think it's pretty cool. I was thinking of getting one for my desktop computer at home, but my friend was telling me that they're a security risk because since they're wireless, someone can hack into your keyboard and can know what you're typing. So if you type something personal like a CC# or SS#, then they can obtain that information.

Is this true? Is it unsafe for me to buy a wireless keyboard for my computer at home?


#2 Nick H.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:16

Your friend is talking about a keylogger. It has no bearing on whether the keyboard is wireless or wired, if you have a keylogger on your computer then the third-party (whoever put it there) will be able to look at all the keystrokes you've made, from personal emails to posts on forums to credit card details entered.

If you want a wireless keyboard, get a wireless keyboard.

#3 Hardcore Til I Die

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:24

The keyboard has to be paired with devices; it won't just let any old device connect to it.

#4 Hum

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:30

Well, the NSA probably can. ;)

#5 Eric

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:30

Wireless keyboard signals can technically be intercepted. Most decent ones should have an option to encrypt the connection, though. The Logitech one I used to have did.

#6 vetneufuse

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:31

The keyboard has to be paired with devices; it won't just let any old device connect to it.


the first gens of wireless didn't use encryption and just broadcast keystrokes...... but then even with pairing and key exchanges... you could in theory still crack it by snooping the exchanged key and then listening in... people have "hacked" wireless keyboards before...

#7 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:31

not unless you are paranoid i would think not, however, if you are having a security problem that severe you probably also would have keyloggers and things on your computer

#8 remixedcat

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:35

What keyboard do they use? Good Logitech or Microsoft ones would be fine but if they're some cheap chinese knock off then I would get a little weary. Logitech or Microsoft have enc. on thiers.

#9 macel

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:35

Well, early wireless keyboards were fairly poorly designed (http://www.blackhat....08-moser-WP.pdf) but newer ones use properly done encryption and I have not seen any recent attacks against them. Wireless keyboards are also very short range.

#10 remixedcat

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:36

Wireless keyboard signals can technically be intercepted. Most decent ones should have an option to encrypt the connection, though. The Logitech one I used to have did.


What happened to yours?

#11 Charisma

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:38

Well, early wireless keyboards were fairly poorly designed (http://www.blackhat....08-moser-WP.pdf) but newer ones use properly done encryption and I have not seen any recent attacks against them. Wireless keyboards are also very short range.


This is what I was thinking: unless the person trying to hack it is in the next room or something, you're probably fine.

#12 Eric

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:38

What happened to yours?


It was one of those DiNovo slimline ones. Very nice, but it didn't stand up to MMOs and Neowin for very long. :) Mouse still works great, though.

#13 sc302

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:46

bluetooth are encrypted by default. many of the brands have encryption on their wifi versions. I would say you are pretty safe with a current wireless suite. Some people are just hung up on security when they don't understand or don't know.

FWIW, bluetooth have a range of about 30 feet. Wifi about 50 but can go to about 100 feet depending on obstructions and quality of the gear.

#14 arachnoid

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:56

When it comes down to it how paranoid do you want to get as in reality just turning on your PC is a security risk?
You need to weight the risk against the advantages and in this case the risk is extremely small much less than say giving your bank or credit card details over the phone.

#15 Kami-

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 13:30

I'd be more worried about your internet connection giving away those details than a wireless keyboard ;)