A method of stealing data from offline PCs discovered

The researchers managed to decipher PC’s data by studying its electro-magnetic emanation. Israeli security researchers have discovered a method of hacking computers, which are not connected to the Internet. These experts managed to steal crypto keys by means of measuring electro-magnetic emanation during the data decoding. They used the attack method known as “side channel attack”. Having obtained the PC privacy key Using GnuPG, the researchers measured the electro-magnetic emanation of the target PC. Within a few seconds, they managed to obtain a secret key that allowed them to decipher the data.

According to the researchers, the equipment necessary to carry out such an attack costs approximately $3 000. No physical intervention- for example, removing the computer’s cover – is required. According to the research report, the electro-magnetic emanation of the target PC was measured during decryption of the data. They focused on a narrow frequency band, and after signal processing, they obtained “a clear trace that revealed information about operands used in elliptic curve cryptography”. Utilizing these findings, the researchers revealed the secret key.

To obtain the key, the researchers observed 66 decipher operations 0,05 seconds each. It took them 3,3 seconds in total to get the result. But it’s important to note that the researchers meant that the calculations took 3,3 seconds, not the attack itself.