[ISN] Experts dispute threat posed by backdoor found in Chinese chip

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2012 03:19:22 -0500 (CDT)

By Steven Musil
May 29, 2012

A recent report that a Chinese computer chip used by the U.S. military 
has a hidden backdoor that could allow the manufacturer to disable 
devices are overblown, one security researcher says.

Researchers at Cambridge University issued a dire warning today about a 
security bypass they said they had identified in a nonencrypted chip 
made by Microsemi in China, and used in weapons, nuclear power plants, 
and even public transportation.

"We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a 
previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer," security 
researcher Sergei Skorobogatov wrote in the publication of his findings. 
"This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this 
key, you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by 
the user with their own key," he wrote.

"In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced 
Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems," he continued. 
"The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for 
[U.S.] national security and public infrastructure."


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Received on Wed May 30 2012 - 01:19:22 PDT

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