What is a side channel attack? How these end-runs around encryption put everyone at risk

    Date17 Apr 2019
    CategoryCryptography
    1576
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    LS Hmepg 337x500 10

    Brute force attacks on cryptography could take billions of years, which no one has to spare. Maybe you live in a country where rubber hose cryptography is, shall we say, frowned upon. Hacking a target's endpoint is an option, but what if you get caught? Better to use an attack that leaves no forensic traces behind.

    Enter side channel attacks. A side channel attack breaks cryptography by using information leaked by cryptography, such as monitoring the electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation emitted by a computer screen to view information before it's encrypted in a van Eck phreaking attack, aka Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanation STandard (TEMPEST). Other well-known side channel attacks include spying on the power consumption of an electronic device to steal an encryption key, or acoustic attacks that record the sound of a user's key strokes to steal their passphrase.

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