Attacking a secure smartcard

Jerry Leichter leichter at
Sat Dec 6 22:51:23 EST 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, “magic” (okay, it’s not magic but we’re  
not telling), we opened the bus and probed it keeping the chip alive.   
We didn’t use any kind of expensive SEM or FIB.  The equipment used  
was available back in the 90’s to the average hacker!  We didn’t 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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