The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Daniel Genkin

“Physical Side Channel Attacks on PCs and Mobile Devices”


Friday, April 8, 2016 - 11:15am


Daniel Genkin, Computer Science Department, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology


Gunness Student Center


Can secret information be extracted from PCs and mobile devices by measuring their physical properties from the outside? What would it take to extract whole keys from such fast and complex devices? We present myriad ways to do so, including:

* Acoustic key extraction, using microphones to record the high-pitched noise caused by vibration of electronic circuit components during decryption.

* Electric key extraction exploiting fluctuations in the "ground" electric potential of computers. An attacker can measure this signal by touching the computer's chassis, or the shield on the remote end of Ethernet, VGA or USB cables.

* Electromagnetic key extraction, using a cheap radio to non-intrusively attack computers and mobile devices.

The talk will discuss the cryptanalytic, physical and signal-processing principles of the attacks, and include live demonstrations.

The talk is based on joint works with Lev Pachmanov, Itamar Pipman, Adi Shamir Eran Tromer and Yuval Yarom.

Daniel Genkin is a Ph.D student at the Computer Science Department Technion and a Research Assistant at the School of Computer Science Tel Aviv University. Daniel's research focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of cryptography including side channel attacks and secure multiparty computation.