Computing: Harmful chips hidden on circuit boards revealed by their power use


Careful observation of the power consumption of a circuit board can reveal telltale signs that an attacker has tampered with it and installed a malicious device designed to steal sensitive information or cause crashes, say researchers.


18 April 2022

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Electronic circuit board


Manufacturers often design printed circuit boards for their products but lack manufacturing capability, so they outsource production. Experts warn that these factories are a point of vulnerability where an attacker could insert malicious features, known as Trojan attacks. These Trojan attacks could steal sensitive data or crash a device when triggered.

Only one such attack has ever been reported in the wild, detailed in a Bloomberg article in 2018, but later denied by all companies mentioned. Theodore Markettos at the University of Cambridge  says that no firm …

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