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Researchers claim chip security flaw




Researchers claim chip security flaw
Researchers claim chip security flaw



http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,20787776%5E15321%5E%5Enbv%5E15306,00.html 

Agence France-Presse
Correspondents in Paris
NOVEMBER 20, 2006

RESEARCHERS have discovered a fundamental flaw in microprocessor 
technology that could allow hackers to obtain computer users' 
information, a French newspaper has reported.

A team led by German cryptology expert Jean-Pierre Seifert has 
discovered that chips are now more vulnerable because of the way they 
are manufactured to process data more quickly.

"Security has been sacrificed for the benefit of performance," French 
daily Le Monde quoted Mr Seifert as saying Saturday.

The danger of hackers breaking into computer chips, using a technique 
known as Branch Prediction Analysis (PBA), previously necessitated a 
very large number of attempts to decipher a cryptology key.

But Mr Seifert's research envisages that hackers will find it far easier 
and quicker in the future using a small piece of spy software that 
tracks microchips.

In a still-confidential study, Mr Seifert and his colleagues explain how 
they managed "in only one attempt" to obtain a 512-bit encryption key in 
just a few thousandths of a second.

Mr Seifert plans to demonstrate his method at the beginning of 2007 at 
an conference on encryption.


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