Date of Completion

Spring 3-14-2016

Campus Location


Document Type


Committee Chair/First Advisor

Liza Davis, PhD.

Faculty Advisor

Herbert Mattord, PhD.

Faculty Representative

Herbert Mattord, PhD.


What started off as a question on the possibly of data transmission via sound above the level of human hearing evolved into a project exploring the possibility of ultrasonic data infiltration and exfiltration in an information security context. It is well known that sound can be used to transmit data as this can be seen in many old technologies, most notably and simply DTMF tones for phone networks. But what if the sound used to transmit signals was in in the ultrasonic range? It would go generally unnoticed to anyone not looking for it with tools such as a spectrum analyzer. This could provide an unnoticed means of transmitting overhead data without the use of radio signals or physical connections, or, more clandestinely, a means to inject or retrieve data virtually undetected for espionage, control, or other malicious activity. As expected, there would obviously be issues with signal quality as the open air is heavy with environmental interference, but in specific cases as seen in the following research, a discrete sonic means of data transmission may not only be practical, but necessary for the task at hand.

This project is an exploration of the practicality of ultrasonic data transmission between computers. It will include research into the topic in general from scientific, technological, and security perspectives. There will be inclusions from other research projects as well as practical applications already in existence. Interestingly, there are already some suspected, but unconfirmed planned systems as well security incidents using this technology. Finally, a short series of semi-formal (in a scientific sense) experiments conducted to provide firsthand accounts and results of the ultrasonic data transmission concept.