Sunday, October 19, 2008

Report: Power Attacks On Credit Cards Still A Major Threat

Evan Schuman writes on StorefrontBacktalk:

It's hardly a new payment card security threat, but what has become known as differential power analysis (DPA) is still very much a threat on most payment smart cards, according to a report in this week's Nilson Report, a well-respected newsletter cover payment issues.

A DPA attack, as described in the report, takes advantage of the electrical impulses inherent in any smart card.

"The silicon chips embedded in smart cards consume power whenever they process payment data and it is possible for criminals to
measure these power fluctuations surreptitiously and then analyze them to decode the secret keys that secure the data," the report said.

The report also made its argument for the risks if such card capabilities are not restricted.

More here.


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