[rescue] OT: Network Blinkenlights

Kevin Loch kloch at gurunet.net
Mon Mar 7 17:56:40 CST 2005

Isaac wrote:
> I agree that the arbitrary, constant rate flashing of activity lights is
> annoying. However, there's a reasonable argument to be made that
> flash-once-per-frame behavior leaks too much information about network
> traffic to potential attackers capable of observing and analyzing
> network activity based on blinkenlights.
> Consider this paper, "Information Leakage from Optical Emanantions":
> http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=545186.545189
> I'd classify the security threat as low, but then it depends on your
> environment.
> -Isaac

That's silly.  If you are concerned about visible light photons being
emitted you should be more concerned about rf frequency emissions.

The usefulness of actual blink information is real and the
optical thread can easially be mitigated with trivial shielding.

You could also argue that an attacker with enough physical
access to observe the blinking lights already has much
more threatening opportunities.

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