A group of research hackers showed that no matter how strong your computer's defenses, there always seems to be a way around — or straight through — those walls.
This latest example came thanks to hackers at the penetration-testing firm Netragard, who, at the behest of a client, were challenged with remotely penetrating a network without the use of social networks, telephone, email or any physical contact with the server.
To carry out this covert network intrusion, Netragard chief technology officer Adriel Desautels put a tiny flash drive and microcontroller inside a regular Logitech mouse, and encoded the new mischievous mouse to execute pre-programmed malicious code 60 seconds after being plugged into the target computer.
The rogue mouse even contained exploit code that flew under the radar of the computer's McAfee antivirus software.
"The microcontroller acts as if there's a person sitting at the keyboard typing," Desautels told The Register. "When a certain set of conditions are met, the microcontroller sends commands to the computer as if somebody was typing those commands in on the keyboard or the mouse."
Although this particular hack penetrated a Windows machine, Desautels said the mighty mouse could be used on a variety of operation systems.
As he told The Register, "You're plugging in a computer device, in either a keyboard or a mouse, that has a mind of its own. There's no defense, either. Plug one of these in and you're basically screwed."