Open source tool enables security tests for chip cards
Source: H Security - Posted by Dave Wreski   
Cryptography At this year's Black Hat Conference, crypto expert Karsten Nohl of SRLabs demonstrated the degate tool that can be used to take a closer look at applications stored on smartcards, such as credit cards and SIM cards. A smartcard chip is a tiny computer with ROM, in which its operating system and application are located; it also has flash memory for dynamic data, an execution unit and RAM. The ROM, RAM and flash memory are connect to the execution unit via buses. The chips often contain important data such as keys for pay-TV programmes and programs for generating TANs, which is why there have been regular and repeated attempts to read them out. "Timing attacks" were a popular approach up until a few years ago, but this has been succeeded by intrusive attacks on the chip's buses.

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