Wireless equipment ranging from mobile phones to routers, car alarms or PC peripherals have become an important part of our lives. Most of us use at least one wireless device every day whether you’re at home or at work because it’s a lot more comfortable having no wires connected.
Keykeriki (from ‘kikeriki’, the sound of a rooster) is a very useful tool for verifying the security level of transmissions from someone’s wireless keyboard. An OpenSource hardware and software project currently working with Microsoft keyboards and free for non-commercial use, the Keykeriki can also demonstrate sniffing attacks for educational purposes only.
Using the Texas Instruments TRF7900 chip, an ATMEL ATMEGA microcontroller and an SDCard interface for logging, the sniffer also has a USART channel for future hardware add-ons that the designers like to call ‘backpacks’. The device requires a 5V power source and can also be powered using the USB port. It can be used with a terminal application or the keyctrl software partially provided in the software package of the project.
Being a very small and flexible project in terms of hardware, but quite ambitious in terms of information provided to the user, most features are built within the software. And it’s a pretty long feature list, with radio frequency channel switching, signal strength display, encryption key handling, deciphering Microsoft’s XOR based encryption, decoding of keystrokes from Microsoft 27Mhz based keyboards and more.
Entitled as ‘universal’, the creators of the sniffer pride themselves with having decoded Logitech keyboards transmissions and they plan on adding this feature in a future release. They are also working on designing a few Backpacks, including LCD display and Iphone interface and they plan on providing ready-made boards at a fair price in just a few weeks.
While the project raises some questions about privacy, it’s definitely an interesting and useful one. As I have mentioned before, it’s an OpenSource project, so coding and hardware schematics are available for download in the link below.