Is it possible to remotely monitor key strokes on a laptop or is an RF retro reflector required?

If so, where would be the most likely location such a device would be placed?


1 Answer 1


Almost any computer equipment, including keyboards, monitors, CPUs, and others, can emit RF signals that leak information. There is no way of knowing if your particular machine emits such signals, or what their range is, without testing for the purpose. The way to protect your equipment is with purpose-built TEMPEST shielding.

TEMPEST is the set of standards developed by US spy agencies to shield against such attacks. You can read more about them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempest_(codename)

If you are trying to capture emissions from a computer, your success will depend largely on antenna effectiveness and placement. The only way to find this information out about a particular machine is through testing. As with any radio signals, the closer the receiving antenna is to the transmitter, the higher your chance of successful reception will be.

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