Laptop docking stations not safe but vulnerable

For this purpose there have been invented several protocols and hardware parts such as the laptop docking station, that ensure the safety of the company’s information.

One of these tools that aid securing information is the laptop docking station.

Presumably it is 100% safe but latest developments have shown to prove something entirely different.

A British researcher working for the NCC Group claims to have develop a hardware part which if installed correctly in the laptop docking station has the capability to record every piece of information coming, going and stored on the laptop.

This has the potential to destroy corporations and must be treated as a dangerous weapon.

The British researcher claims that he will demonstrate how vulnerable the laptop docking station is and how his device works in the coming month at Black Hat Europe.

Simple trick to avoid your laptop to get stolen

Companies pay little attention to the safety offered by the laptop docking station because it is presumed that company headquarters are relatively safe and very few people have access to the laptop docking station. Furthermore, the laptop docking station’s physical shape and construction leaves room for maneuvering and therefore installing a rogue device within it is not such a hard task.

Laptop Docking Station Hacking

This hacking method which targets the laptop’s docking station is also very hard to detect as it is hidden within the docking station and leaves no signs.

The British inventor used a DELL docking station to prove his point but not because it was easy to hack as the majority of docking stations are more or less the same, but because that was the docking station he was using at his workplace. 

He goes on to say the companies that want to keep their secrets or information private should fit the laptop docking station with anti-tampering devices which release a signal once they have been tempered with. Also, by using thermal cameras, the company can detect the rogue equipment as it appears on the camera as a cluster of red spots.

It is easy for non authorized personnel to access docking stations in an office when no authorized people are around.

This can example be office building maintenance professionals or cleaning teams. Easily an unauthorized personnel can hide a harmful USB device in a docking station.

When the user the next day come in the office and connect their laptop in the docking station they can be infected without even knowing it.

USB devices can be very thin and in black color not to be seen easily. It can easily sit in the docking station for weeks before the user will even be aware of a malicious USB device have been connected in the Laptop Docking Station.