By Nick Farrell
9 February 2010
FORMER US ARMY computer insecurity specialist Christopher Tarnovsky
showed the Black Hat Technical Security Conference exactly why the US
cannot handle a cyber war.
Speaking before the throngs of hackers, he hacked into a computer chip
called a "Trusted Platform Module" or TPM. TPM chips are supposed to be
the industry's highest standard of security and are present in more than
100 million computers sold to businesses and individuals.
When he managed it he had access to all the highly sensitive documents
in government and business and almost everything on the PC.
Tarnovsky unlocked the most secure chip manufactured by Infineon
Technologies and he claimed that his technique will work on the entire
line of security chips manufactured by the outfit. Infineon is the
leading maker of TPM chips.
It is not Goodnight Vienna for the computer world, however. Hackers
wanting to try the Spanish Inquisition on the TPM chips have to first
get their paws on a smartphone, laptop or X-box. They will also then
have to torture the TPM chip in acid baths, rust remover, and finally
drive a oaken spike into the heart of the chip.
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