Raspberry Pi can use electromagnetic waves to detect malware, researchers find

In India, cyberattacks increased 24% from last year to 1,830 weekly attacks per organisation in 2021.

The researchers found that in early experiments, Raspberry Pi-equipped hardware could detect malware with nearly 100% accuracy.
The researchers found that in early experiments, Raspberry Pi-equipped hardware could detect malware with nearly 100% accuracy.

Raspberry Pi can use electromagnetic waves to detect malware, researchers have found. The newly developed system enables malware detection without any additional software.

The researchers found that in early experiments, Raspberry Pi-equipped hardware could detect malware with nearly 100% accuracy. If it becomes available commercially, small and medium organisations could use the single-board computer popular for powering DIY projects to protect their systems from cyberattacks for a low cost.

The researchers at France’s Research Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems (IRISA) used a H-Field probe and an oscilloscope (Picoscope 6407), along with a Raspberry Pi 2B, to scan devices for specific electromagnetic waves that indicate if a potential malware exists.

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“Our method does not require any modification on the target device. Thus, it can be deployed independently from the resources available without any overhead. Moreover, our approach has the advantage that it can hardly be detected and evaded by the malware authors,” the researchers wrote in the research paper published last month.

Using the reference design developed by Convolution Neural Networks (CNN), the researchers recorded 100,000 measurement traces from an Internet of Things (IoT) device that had been infected by various realistic benign activity and in-the-wild malware samples. The team said it was able to predict three generic malware types and another benign class with a 99.82% accuracy.

Obfuscation techniques are often used by hackers to bypass software-level malware detection. However, since the new model relies completely on hardware and electromagnetic waves instead of software to detect threats, it could detect malware that might have not been noticed by the specific software.

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Cyberattacks grew swiftly in the past years as people started using the Internet a lot more due to Covid-19 restrictions. According to a recent Check Point report, cyberattacks rose 50% on a weekly basis against 2020. In India, cyberattacks increased 24% from last year to 1,830 weekly attacks per organisation in 2021.

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