Spanish research tool probes smartphone electromagnetic emissions for encryption keys

Interesting stuff, but are such side-channel attacks something that CISOs and others in the real world enterprise need worry about?

The researchers, José María de Fuentes and Lorena González from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) Computer Security Lab (COSEC) and Luis Hernández Encinas from the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute for Physical and Information Technologies (ITEFI), are aiming to improve mobile device security by seeing if they can extract an encryption key from any electric current producing a magnetic field that is emitted by a smartphone. Lorena González explains: “when the devices are on, they use energy and generate electromagnetic fields. We try to capture their traces to obtain the encryption key and at the same time, decipher the data.”

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