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No Software Required: Raspberry Pi Uses Electromagnetic Waves to Detect Malware

It just scans a device and detects malware (and obfuscation techniques) with 99.82% accuracy.

A team at France's Research Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems developed a novel way to detect malware that does not require software to be installed on target devices.

As Tom's Hardware reports, the researchers created a system based on a Raspberry Pi capable of scanning a device for electromagnetic waves using an oscilloscope and an H-Field probe. Specific waves signal the presence of malware on the device, with the researchers managing to "obtain precise knowledge about malware type and identity."

What makes this new technique so impressive is the fact it requires no modification of the target device or any interaction beyond being able to scan for EM waves. No software installation also means any obfuscation techniques employed by malware writers simply don't work. In fact, obfuscation techniques can also be detected and analyzed.

The end result is a system with a malware-detection accuracy of 99.82%, which could prove invaluable to malware analysts. It's also going to prove to be a nightmare for malware writers as they attempt to figure out how to hide their malicious code from an EM scanner without being able to detect its presence.

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About Matthew Humphries

Matthew Humphries

Alongside writing for PCMag, Matthew is a video game designer and co-wrote the book Make Your Own Pixel Art (available at all good book shops). Before joining PCMag, he spent 14 years writing and editing for Geek.com, and before that, nearly founded a social network while Mark Zuckerberg was still struggling through puberty. He can probably fix your PC and will grab any opportunity to build a new one.

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