DOI: 10.3390/sym16020209 ISSN: 2073-8994

Detection of the Compromising Audio Signal by Analyzing Its AM Demodulated Spectrum

Alexandru Madalin Vizitiu, Lidia Dobrescu, Bogdan Catalin Trip, Vlad Florian Butnariu, Cristian Molder, Simona Viorica Halunga
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

The information technology and communication (IT&C) market consists of computing and telecommunication technology systems, which also include a variety of audio devices. Preserving the confidentiality of transmitted information through these devices stands as a critical concern across various domains and businesses. Notably, spurious electromagnetic emanations emitted by audio devices can be captured and processed, potentially leading to eavesdropping incidents. The evaluation of electronic devices for potential security vulnerabilities often involves employing Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanation Standard (TEMPEST) technology. This paper introduces a novel approach to TEMPEST testing specifically tailored for audio devices. The outcomes of the proposed approach offer valuable insights into TEMPEST equipment testing, aiming to mitigate the potential risks posed by threats exploitable by eavesdroppers in everyday scenarios. The present work delves into the examination of two ubiquitous global electronic devices: a notebook and a pair of in-ear headphones. The symmetrical framework of this study arises from the intrinsic similarity that, despite belonging to distinct categories, both devices possess the capability to emit electromagnetic emissions that contain compromised audio signals. This assertion is substantiated by the measurement results presented herein. The proposed methodology involves the analysis of the audio amplitude modulation (AM) demodulated signal in the frequency domain. This innovative approach not only mitigates operator fatigue but also significantly reduces the testing time required for these devices and instrument running hours and leads to the development of new applications.

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