In today’s mobile world, wireless technology is everywhere. We use it to get online on the go, connect mobile accessories to our PCs, listen to music from our phone—and the list goes on.
Because wireless technology is so common, we often assume it’s safe. Many of us use it to enter passwords, send personal data, and share confidential work information. The reality is that every point in a wireless communication system is a potential vulnerability, and without the proper security measures in place, your private information could be at risk.
At Microsoft, we have created a line of wireless keyboards that help protect your communications using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES encrypts your keystrokes before transmitting them to your PC or other device.
The Advanced Encryption Standard is a specification for the encryption of electronic data. Established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001, it has been adopted by the United States government and other countries around the world to protect confidential data and information.
AES is one of the most secure electronic data encryption standards currently out there.
Wireless keyboards transmit information over the air, which creates an often overlooked point of vulnerability. Without proper security measures in place, a cyber-thief could intercept your keystrokes and gain access to your passwords, credit card numbers, and other vital information.
To prevent others from accessing your keyboard’s secret AES encryption key, we have created firmware that blocks access to the key once it is installed in the keyboard and receiver in the factory. In addition, Microsoft AES keyboards use random data generation and unique identifiers for each transmission to prevent more sophisticated attacks.