Researchers Demonstrate Stealing Encryption Keys Via Radio

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brian Prince

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Researchers at Tel Aviv University have demonstrated a method of stealing encryption keys from a PC using a radio receiver small enough to hide inside a piece of pita bread.

In a paper, the researchers outlined new side-channel attacks on RSA and ElGamal implementations that use the popular sliding window or fixed window modular exponentiation algorithms. The attacks can extract decryption keys using a low measurement bandwidth even when attacking multi-GHz CPUs, the researchers found.

"We demonstrate the extraction of secret decryption keys from laptop computers, by nonintrusively measuring electromagnetic emanations for a few seconds from a distance of 50 cm," the researchers explained in an online summary of the paper. "The attack can be executed using cheap and readily-available equipment: a consumer-grade radio receiver or a Software Defined Radio USB dongle. The setup is compact and can operate untethered; it can be easily concealed, e.g., inside pita bread."

Read the rest of this story on SecurityWeek.com.

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