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TEMPEST (Telecommunications Electronics Materials Protected from Emanating Spurious Transmissions) is a U.S. National Security Agency specification for protecting against several kinds of threats, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

TEMPEST security systems are also often placed in secure rooms or even whole buildings to ensure that no EMR leaks out, which could compromise security by inadvertently leaking data.

CP Cases TEMPEST Shielding provides RF (radio frequency) shielding to block electromagnetic radiation from critical equipment. Where national security information is at risk there is no room for compromise. Exceptional attention to design, premium materials and components and consistency of manufacture processes are all part of the formula, designed to ensure that the final system meets US and NATO TEMPEST requirements.

While much of TEMPEST is about leaking electromagnetic emanations, it also encompasses sounds and mechanical vibrations. For example, it is possible to log a user’s keystrokes using the motion sensor inside smartphones. Compromising emissions are defined as unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed (side-channel attack), may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any information-processing equipment.

TEMPEST was the codename of a U.S. government project in the late 1960s that studied the susceptibility of computer and telecom devices to emit electromagnetic radiation in a manner that can be used to reconstruct intelligible data. Today, it is used to describe specialized monitoring equipment and shielded devices designed for cybersecurity, including:

  • Monitoring equipment. TEMPEST receivers monitor a wide range of radio frequencies and use advanced algorithms to gain a picture of the original data.
  • Shielded devices. There are three categories of TEMPEST-shielded devices, ranging from highly secure equipment available only to U.S. government agencies and approved contractors to devices for general commercial use.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers TEMPEST EMI/RFI Data Security Training, a 2-day course that provides participants with the latest tools and methods for analyzing Telecommunications and Electrical Machinery Protected from Emanations Security (TEMPEST) EMI/RFI data security issues.

You will also receive the leading-edge information on TEMPEST methods for spying on unshielded equipment and how to shield equipment.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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