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

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

Apr 21, 2020
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

Apr 12, 2017
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
Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl
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