Attacking a secure smartcard

Jerry Leichter leichter at
Sat Dec 6 19:51:23 PST 2008

I've previously mentioned Flylogic as a company that does cool attacks  
on chip-level hardware protection.  In 
, they talk about attacking the ST16601 Smartcard - described by the  
vendor as offering "Very high security features including EEPROM flash  
erase (bulk-erase)".  The chip is covered by a metal mesh that, if cut  
or shorted, blocks operation.  However, Flylogic reports:

"Using our techniques we call, bmagicb (okay, itbs not magic but 
webre  not telling), we opened the bus and probed it keeping the chip 
alive.   We didnbt use any kind of expensive SEM or FIB.  The equipment 
used  was available back in the 90bs to the average hacker!  We didnbt 
even  need a university lab.  Everything we used was commonly available for  
under $100.00 USD.
This is pretty scary when you think that they are certifying these  
devices under all kinds of certifications around the world."

                                                        -- Jerry

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