Did you know that electromagnetic radiation and variations of power in your digital setup box or credit card can be used to hack them? Not to worry, researchers at the University of Wyoming and the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found an algorithm to seal this loophole.
The aim for designing devices like credit cards, smart keys, and cable boxes was to deliver efficiency while the security took a hit. As a result, hacker can tap into such hardware from over a hundred yards and steal valuable data.
For example, when a cable box is turned on for the first time, it is encoding and decoding specific confidential codes. It results in greater electromagnetic radiation. This process also consumes more power than when you are watching TV and creates a pattern of usage over time. This is the signature of your setup box and hackers understand this pattern very well.
The researchers have taken design specifications from hardware and reconstructed them from a security point of view. The new design specifications use the same amount of power in every cycle. This makes power usage and radiation statistics useless to hackers.
These findings were first published in the Institute of Engineering and Technology Journal. The two researchers who discovered the new algorithm are Mike Borowczak, a PhD candidate and his advisor, UC professor Ranga Vemuri.
Commercial Application is Feasible
Hardware often takes a backseat as tech giants and research continues to find new security measures for securing software. Currently, fingerprint and face recognition technology is taking big steps in securing software. The technology has reached a point where it is incredibly difficult to hack software. However, hardware security continues to remain at the mercy of the design specification.
However, the new research could change that soon. The new algorithm only requires 5% more power usage in devices. This makes it easy to integrate the research in current manufacturing. The algorithm might require more extensive experimentation too.
However, credit cards users might find profound joy in the new discovery.