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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: computer hardware

Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

April 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly discovered unpatchable hardware vulnerability in Xilinx programmable logic products could allow an attacker to break bitstream encryption, and clone intellectual property, change the functionality, and even implant hardware Trojans. The details of the attacks against Xilinx 7-Series and Virtex-6 Field Programmable Gate Arrays ( FPGAs ) have been covered in a paper titled " The Unpatchable Silicon: A Full Break of the Bitstream Encryption of Xilinx 7-Series FPGAs " by a group of academics from the Horst Goertz Institute for IT Security and Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy. "We exploit a design flaw which piecewise leaks the decrypted bitstream," the researchers said. "In the attack, the FPGA is used as a decryption oracle, while only access to a configuration interface is needed. The attack does not require any sophisticated tools and, depending on the target system, can potentially be launched remotely." The findings wil
Prison Inmates Built PCs from e-Waste and Connected Online Using Prison Network

Prison Inmates Built PCs from e-Waste and Connected Online Using Prison Network

April 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Can you imagine your world without the Internet? I know it's hard to imagine your life without the Internet, and the same was the case of two Ohio prisoners who built personal computers from parts from e-waste, hid them in the ceiling, and connected those PCs to the Internet via the prison's network. The incident occurred in 2015 but has now been made public by the State of Ohio's Office of the Inspector General, which published a 50-page report [ PDF ] on Tuesday, following almost a year-long investigation. According to the report, a prison work program has backfired two inmates of Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio, Florida, who smuggled computer parts from an e-waste recycling workshop and built two clandestine computers out of them. The unsupervised inmates later hid the computers behind a plywood board in the ceiling of a training room, and then connected those working PCs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) network to access
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