Building a Van Eck Phreaking







Risk Rating:


What fun would life be though, if all we had to go by were the 20-year-old examples given in a paper? And more to the point, how would we know what security weaknesses our monitor has if we can't test it ourselves?

We mention, however, that a significant number of the world's law enforcement agencies take quite a dim view on unauthorized eavesdropping of other people's private communications. Understanding the legality and ethics of building or owning a Van Eck imager in your region is important.

The Eckbox project, available at, includes the Linux source code for decoding the signal as well as a program, bw, which needs to be running on the target computer. It's not a true Van Eck imager unless bw is running on the target.

Once the hardware is built, tune the radio to the highest FM frequency available that does not have a station on it (probably somewhere in the 108 MHz range). You should hear some static white noise from the speakers.

Connect the whole kit up to the monitoring PC, place the radio near the system you wish to phreak, which is also running the bw software included with the Eckbox software, and run Eckbox to decode the signal. A representation of the original image should appear on the monitoring PC's screen.

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