[Cryptography] Gaslighting ~= power droop == side channel attack

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Tue Nov 29 23:29:58 EST 2016

On 11/29/2016 04:36 AM, Chris Tonkinson wrote:

> I wonder if some Simpleā„¢ device could be created based on a combination
> of battery, capacitor, and timer to smooth the "curves" of consumption
> for a household (or on a smaller scale for specific appliances),
> rendering this type of analysis ineffectual.

Sure.  Attach between the meter and the breaker switches a high-current
bridge rectifier, and on the other side of the bridge rectifier put the
biggest supercapacitor you can get.

It'll absorb transient spikes and droops leaving only the very tiniest
fluctuations for the snoopy device to look at.

Upside: bonus, some of your appliances may last longer.  Smoothing out
little spikes and droops helps avoid some kinds of damage.

Downside: it'll make enormous transient current available, so having
your breakers between the capacitor and the house is very important, and
an electrician may even recommend specialty high-speed breakers to avoid

Downside:  Attached as I suggested between the meter and the breakers,
it will remain HOT, so don't go grabbing it unless you like the taste of
lightning.  A licensed electrician could probably suggest a better way
to attach it, so that it can drain its charge when you shut down the
power but still have your house protected by your breaker box.

Disclaimer:  I am not a licensed electrician.  If you're doing anything
like this, you should be doing it in collaboration with a licensed


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