Think your monitor is unhackable? Think again!
Most of know by now that your computer, tabled, and smartphone can be hacked rather easily. But did you ever think that someone might be trying to gain access to your monitor?
Chances are, you didn’t. You are probably thinking that your monitor is just a dumb display and that its only job is to light up pixels wherever your computer tells it to. Unfortunately, this is not true. Monitors are getting smarter with each generation, and this makes them a juicy target for hackers.
Anu Cui is the lead scientist at Red Balloon Security, the team that discovered the frightening vulnerability. Like most modern devices, your monitor contains a microcontroller inside of it. Because of this, Cui came to the conclusion that monitors can be hacked and manipulated fairly easily.
He went on to prove his claim, and together with his team he developed a working exploit. He went on to say: “We can now hack the monitor and you shouldn’t have blind trust in those pixels coming out of your monitor.”
By injecting malicious firmware into the monitor, the group got the ability to change everything that was being displayed. This could be much more dangerous than you might think. With the ability of changing every single label on the screen a hacker has the opportunity to cause a huge amount of damage. Cui gives the example of tricking a Power plant employee into shutting down the entire system.
The only upside is that It’s fairly easy to detect. The Screen refresh rate isn’t nearly as quick as it would be without the infection. Hopefully you are able to notice the difference before any damage can be done.
It may be the time to stop trusting your monitor, even if you think you are not a big target.