Freeze Memory Chips, Steal Encrypted Data

According to an article published by New York Times, Princeton University researchers have come out with a method to steal encrypted information stored on computer hard disks. The trick is pretty simple according to them but certainly not for us. It involves freezing of DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) chip. This is done to exploit the little-known vulnerability of the DRAM chip.

These chips temporarily hold data, including the keys to modern data-scrambling algorithms. When the computer’s electrical power is shut off, the data, including the keys, is supposed to disappear. But the chips actually retain their data for seconds or even minutes after power is cut off.

Hence if the chips are frozen using an inexpensive can of air, the data too gets frozen which reveals the key with long string of vulnerable binary data. Then the researchers use their in-house pattern-recognition software to identify the security keys. That’s it, all the hidden data will now be revealed!

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