Jumping the Air Gap: How to Breach Isolated Networks

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Connectivity continues to enmesh businesses, governments, societies and people – a trend that will only accelerate with the growth of public cloud services and devices linked together in the Internet of Things. But some of the most sensitive sectors are attempting to cordon off their networks from the outside. Highly sensitive information, including that held by military units, intelligence agencies, and companies responsible for transportation, energy, finance and other critical infrastructure elements, is often held within networks disconnected, or “air gapped,” from the global internet. Unlike common hacks that use the internet to reach directly into an organization’s data, a breach into an air-gapped system often requires some level of physical access.

How can hackers jump the air gap and exfiltrate, or extract, data? If an air gap doesn’t truly insulate a highly sensitive network, why use it?

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