Information leakage is considered to be the illegal distribution of a set of information that goes beyond the circle of trusted persons or the organization that stored this information. Leakage is the unlawful seizure of someone else's information, regardless of how the data is obtained.
Information leakage can occur due to accidental disclosure of data, or if an attacker is specifically trying to scout someone else's information, hidden from unauthorized persons.
Reasons for data leaks and possible situations
Among the common reasons for information leakage are the following versions:
- Insufficient protection of other people's data (by an organization or a trusted person).
- Improper handling of devices that store information (for technical reasons).
All of this occurs under concomitant conditions that allow a leakage situation to occur:
- Incompetence of employees involved in data protection, their lack of understanding of the importance of the process and neglect of information in general.
- Use of unlicensed tools or unapproved programs to protect customers and maintain their privacy.
- Poor control over data protection facilities.
- Constant change of employees who are engaged in the protection of personal data.
The blame for the leakage of information is most often placed on the employees of firms and enterprises, as well as on their bosses. You can protect yourself from any intruder if the employees are willing and competent. There are factors that do not depend on companies:
- Large scale disasters.
- Natural disasters.
- Accidents at technical stations, equipment failure.
- Bad weather conditions.
Communication systems serve as the basis for the transmission of information of any kind. The simplest systems consist of an information carrier and a receiver and receiver of information, as well as a transmission channel. Any signal can be transmitted in the following ways:
- light rays;
- electromagnetic transmission method;
- sound disturbances;
- materials and substances.
The main task of the entire chain of devices is to transfer information to a specific point without distortion. A sequence of equipment for transmitting information is called a communication system, and the part that transmits information is called a data transmission channel.
Each information transmission channel has a number of characteristics:
- The location of the start and end.
- Information transfer form.
- Components, or channel structure.
- Speed, volumes of sending and receiving data.
- Channel type and transmission method (how the signal is converted).
- Chain capacity.
- Channel capacity.
These systems and channels are used specifically for the transmission of information. But there are times when the channel appears in another place, it is not explicit and therefore is called an information leakage channel. The channel appears regardless of the source of information and the method of its transmission.
SearchInform DLP controls the maximum number of information transmission channels, protecting the company from data leaks.
Use of technical channels of information leakage
The technical channel of information leakage is the physical path of the signal from the data transmission source to the fraudster's receiving device. The process itself is one-sided, and with its help a person unauthorizedly receives hidden information or personal information that can be recorded.
Technical channels of information leakage are most often formed from devices such as:
1. Acoustic transducers:
- Inductive capacitive.
- Piezoelectric optical.
2. Emitters of electromagnetic waves:
- Low frequency.
- High frequency.
3. Spurious connections and pickups:
- Through feedback.
- Along the food chains.
- By grounding.
The classification of technical channels of information leakage is carried out by physical belonging:
- material and material;
- visual-optical (use of video surveillance and photography).
The first two types are most often used by fraudsters, since they are less visible and reliable in intercepting information. Audio information can be intercepted the fastest.
The formation of a technical acoustic data transmission channel occurs due to:
- free movement of sound vibrations and waves in the environment;
- the impact of sound wave vibrations on technical processing of information media.
It is the technical means that today are in danger of forming a technical channel for the transmission of information. All data on the device is stored electronically and encrypted. In the device itself, all parts (nodes, conductors and other elements) can generate waves with their own frequency and so distribute data through technical channels of information leakage.
You can easily determine the ways and methods of transferring information to an outsider:
- The channel of information leakage is formed due to the microphonic effect of circuit details in the device.
- The transmission channel is formed by the magnetic parts of the electric field.
- Information leakage occurs due to the parasitic amplifier of the signal transmission frequency.
- The technical leakage channel is formed by the electromagnetic component of the device.
- The channel is formed due to the mutual influence of electronic systems, wires and communication lines.
- Information leakage occurs due to the high-frequency action of powerful radio equipment.
- The channel is also formed on fiber-optic systems. In this case, a leak will appear differently depending on the place where the channel is formed.
There are several ways that scammers use to obtain information. These are technical means, they act on different processes, but in most cases they are effective. All funds are divided into passive and active. Among them, the most popular:
- Regime automatic telephone exchange.
- Electronic computers.
- Operational command and loudspeaker communication systems.
- Sound reinforcement and recording devices.
The following points can be credited to active funds:
- Unlawful wedging in or inclusion in channels, wires or communication lines.
- High-frequency imposition.
- Mechanical installation of the leakage channel into microphones and telephones.
Interception of information
The easiest and most common way to create a technical channel for information leakage. The technique is based on the reception of signals of electromagnetic energy using passive means of collecting information. Funds are located at a safe distance.
Interception helps out in emergency situations; in wars it is the only available way to get information from the enemy. They intercept both open and encrypted sources of information. The method for intercepting electromagnetic messages is actively used, it is possible to obtain unauthorized information from radio navigation systems.
As devices for intercepting the leakage channel, such equipment is used as:
- Antenna system.
- Amplifiers are broadband.
- Panoramic analyzers.
- Intermediate devices.
All of them are good at analyzing data obtained through interception. Information leakage occurs especially frequently by radio communication, telephone and mobile radio stations. By the range of radio waves, you can determine the place for installing the receiving equipment. It covers the entire range of electromagnetic waves.
This method of creating a technical channel for information leakage has a number of features:
- Contact with the source of information is not required.
- The technique is protected from weather conditions or time of day.
- The speed of receipt of information is very high, the information received indicates what is happening at the moment.
- It is very difficult for the information source to identify the attacker. The person or device for receiving is unaware of the presence of an interception on the communication line.
SearchInform DLP can intercept data both at the network level and through workstations (PCs) of company employees.
Illegal connection leading to information leakage
This method implies contact or contactless connection of lines or wiring in order to obtain individual information. This method is used at different levels and scales - from the usual installation of a parallel telephone to the construction of listening stations.
You can connect the wires to any chain or communication system. Realistically connecting to power and ground lines. A device is being developed to form an information leakage channel by connecting to fiber-optic lines. Contactless means for wedging into communications have a more complex structure. They operate at high levels and steal information from classified materials from NASA and other companies that are involved in space or important government affairs.
The channels of leakage of confidential information can be divided according to the physical nature and methods of distribution and interception of data. There are such variations:
The main parameters by which the information signal changes are current strength, voltage, frequency and phase. The elements of the technical conduction system themselves are perceived as emitters of the electromagnetic field. The field is modulated according to the law of the information signal change.
Information leakage channels arise due to various spurious electromagnetic radiation. The interception of these emissions, and, accordingly, information occurs with the help of electronic reconnaissance, which is located far beyond the control zone. The area where it is possible to intercept important information is called a dangerous zone, where the ratio "information signal / interference" exceeds the standard.
The reasons for the emergence of information leakage channels are as follows:
- directing electromagnetic radiation of the system to connecting lines and extraneous conductors;
- leakage of information signals in connection with the power supply of the system;
- ingress of information signals into the system grounding circuit.
Those systems for receiving and transmitting technical information that receive spurious electromagnetic radiation are called random antennas. They are distributed and lumped (compact).
You can intercept information by directly connecting to the system's trunks and extraneous conductors. You can also connect to power supply and grounding systems through which the main signal is carried. Recently, they began to use hardware bookmarks. From them, information is transmitted over the radio channel directly to the fraudster or is recorded on the device with subsequent transmission. The transmitters can be installed on any systems and circuits, their radiation is modulated by an information signal.
Interception of information can be carried out using high-frequency irradiation of data transmission systems. During re-emission, the signal parameters change. That is why such a channel of information leakage is called parametric.
Means and systems for detecting information leakage
Any intruder leaves traces, even at the level of transmission of invisible signals. The technical device changes the surrounding space. The main goal of intelligence is to ensure that the devices that form the channel of information leakage are not discovered as long as possible.
And the task of counterintelligence is to quickly fix and find the place of information leakage. The complexity of this process is that it is not known which device is used by the attacker. To find out the methodology for obtaining data by illegal means, it is important to follow all directions and methods of obtaining information. You cannot dwell on one method, it is required to carry out counterintelligence in a complex manner.
Calculation of information leakage
Technical means for reconnaissance and neutralization of information leakage channels can be defined as follows:
1. Active type of search work:
- Non-linear locators (they respond when an electromagnetic field is detected).
- X-ray meters (the channel is calculated by x-ray transmission).
- MRL (magnetic resonance imaging devices determine extraneous interference by molecules in a magnetic field).
- Using acoustic correlators.
2. The passive leak detection method is carried out using:
- Metal detectors.
- Thermal imagers.
- Devices for changing all indicators of the telephone line (induction, voltage, capacity).
- Devices that change the parameters of the magnetic field.
- Search systems for electromagnetic radiation with extraneous signals.
Not all techniques can be applied in modern conditions. The choice of the method occurs according to the requirements of counterintelligence. For example, X-ray machines are bulky, so they cannot be transported or used promptly in military field conditions. Magnetic resonance locators have the same disadvantages, so they are used permanently in large companies.
One of the most progressive areas of intelligence and information leakage protection is the use of thermal imagers. The devices are expensive, but mobile and highly sensitive. They can record signals with a power of 1 μW. And the principle of operation is based on the release of heat by any technical device.
Today, electromagnetic locators of various configurations are most often used:
- Noise meters.
- Infrared radiation detectors.
- Spectrum analyzers.
- Frequency meters and panoramic devices.
Common to all of these devices is that their task is to isolate the transmitter signal.
There are devices that analyze the telephone line due to the use of non-linear location, but they are not used in the masses due to the complexity of the setup and obtaining ambiguous results.
It is important to pay sufficient attention to protection against the connection of extraneous technical leakage channels. It is possible to secure communication from inductive pickup and prevent leakage of protected information using noise generators. The device can be used in a telephone, it noises the telephone lines that have been laid together in all audio frequency ranges.
Such a simple technique will either help the owner of the phone and stop the unauthorized transfer of information, or at least complicate the task for the fraudster. Efficiency will be observed in any case.
The emergence of technical channels of information leakage is not uncommon, so it is important to know more about them in order to protect yourself and your privacy in conversations or at the time of transmission of a message.