Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Be Afraid if Someone's Got a Voltmeter Hooked to Your CPU

Filed under
OSS
Security

Boy, do I hate it when a FLOSS project is given a hard time unfairly. I was this morning greeted with news from many places that OpenSSL, one of the most common FLOSS software libraries used for cryptography, was somehow severely vulnerable.

I had a hunch what was going on. I quickly downloaded a copy of the academic paper that was cited as the sole source for the story and read it. As I feared, OpenSSL was getting some bad press unfairly.

The first thing you have to note about such papers is that informed readers generally ignore the parts that a newbie is most likely focus on: the Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion sections. Unfortunately, these promotional parts of the paper are the sections that focus on the negative implications for OpenSSL. In the rest of the paper, OpenSSL is merely the software component of the experiment equipment.

The experiment described in the paper is very difficult to reproduce. You have to cause very subtle faults in computation at specific times. As I understand it, they had to assemble a specialized hardware copy of a SPARC-based GNU/Linux environment to accomplish the experiment.

rest here




re: OpenSSL

Good but way toooooo long of an article.

To sum up...

"Likelihood of being cracked" is NOT the same as "can be cracked".

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Optimize your Linux rig for top-notch writing

I'm a big fan of Scott Nesbitt's writing, which has a technological bent, but is usually more about working effectively, rather than how tools can make you effective, which is a key distinction. Scott's setup reflects his focus on production rather than tweaking. He has his work tools and everything else is pretty much white noise—which is why LXDE/Lubuntu probably makes a lot of sense for his workflow. It's simple and it stays out of his way. Scott also gets bonus points for moving his family to Linux. That's a tough move, but given that his wife stole his ZaReason laptop, the conversion seems to have taken. Read more

IBM meets demand for Linux with training resources

IBM HAS REAFFIRMED its commitment to Linux with the announcement of an extension to Power Systems Linux. Following on from the company's $1bn financial commitment to the Linux operating system last year, IBM will add Power Systems Linux to the Power Systems services already available for AIX and IBM iSeries servers at 54 IBM Innovation Centres and Client Centres. This will enable Linux systems to better use IBM's Power8 parallel processing and advanced virtualisation. Read more

How Red Hat can catch the developer train

Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat. Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications. Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two. Read more

Shortlist of open source software used at NASA lab

The offer was too good to be true. Three whole weeks at the NASA Glenn Research Center and an invitation to come back. I could scarcely believe it when I read the email. I immediately forwarded it to my parents with an addition of around 200 exclamation points. They were all for it, so I responded to my contact, Herb Schilling, with a resounding “YES!” Read more