The Latest in IT Security

Just Touching a Laptop Can Reveal Secret Data

23
Aug
2014

Its the most current news youll read all day: The pattern of the electric currents that pass through your laptop computer can be used to determine your encryption keys, as a group of three Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have shown. By measuring the electric potential running through a laptops casing, or through a cable attached to the machine, or even by measuring the electric potential of a human touching the casing, the researchers were able to extract two different types of encryption keys used in the open-source encryption hardware known as GnuPG. When the computers owner accessed GnuPG software and entered the decryption key, the pattern of electrical potential that flows through the laptops metal parts was enough to let the researchers determine 4096-bit RSA keys and 3072-bit ElGamal encryption keys.

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