When you think stealing data, the internet and wireless technology like WiFi and Bluetooth naturally come to mind. But as it turns out, data can also be transmitted using vibrations. Even as small as the ones generated by a PC fan.
Mordechai Guri, a professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, have shown that it is possible to send out data from a computer using controlled vibrations from fans installed inside them. This can be used to extract data from systems that are not connected to the internet or any other network. The method has been named AiR-ViBeR.
Malware installed into a system is used to change the speed of its chassis fan. This then makes the surface the system is sitting on, like a table, vibrate at different frequencies. A device is then used to pick up these frequencies and translate them into data. As for the device, all you need is a smartphone with an accelerometer, which is by no means rare.
For what it’s worth, transmission speeds for this method are terrible. In a typical workplace scenario, this method can only transmit half a bit per second.