NumberField writes "Researchers in Germany released a pair of papers documenting severe power analysis vulnerabilities in the bitstream encryption of multiple Xilinx FPGAs. The problem exposes products using FPGAs to cloning, hardware Trojan insertion, and reverse engineering. Unfortunately, there is no easy downloadable fix, as hardware changes are required. These papers are also a reminder that differential power analysis (DPA) remains a potent threat to unprotected hardware devices. On the FPGA front, only Actel seems to be tackling the DPA issue so far, although their FPGAs are much smaller than Xilinx's."Link to Original Source
NumberField writes "The RSA Conference is underway in San Francisco. A theme among the opening speakers is that the attackers are winning, and even well-funded organizations like NASDAQ can't secure their networks reliably. The show floor is lively, but dominated by the typical firewalls and "compliance solutions". One interesting exception is a scary side channel analysis demo in the Cryptography Research booth using GNU Radio to capture secret keys from various smartphones from about 10 feet away. (The method is related to early computer music using AM radio interference.)"
NumberField writes "A few years ago, all major notebook makers switched from 4:3 displays to 16:10 displays. Now, they
transitioning to 16:9 aspect ratios. The reason: consumers buy laptops based on
the diagonal width of the display, and displays with wider aspect ratios cost less because their area is smaller. For example, a
4:3 display has 12% more screen area and 22% more vertical size than a 16:9 display
of the same diagonal size. Users who do word processing,
web browsing, or code development, and other vertical applications are
If the trend continues, soon we'll be viewing the electronic world through a very wide,
but vertically tiny, slit."
NumberField writes "Bank of America and others are trying a new anti-phishing strategy: asking ISPs to redirect phishers' websites to educational information. The idea is that almost-victims will be receptive to learning how to prevent future scams. There's an interesting game theory aspect to this strategy: phishers focus on quick profits, not retaining customers. Target companies can use this to gain long-term reductions in the reduce number of gullible users. (Of course, to make true progress, the user education rate would have to exceeds the rate at which new suckers are born.)"Link to Original Source
NumberField writes "In an effort to revive the HD-DVD format, Microsoft and Amazon/CreateSpace are offering to
make up to 1000 HD-DVD movies for free. The service burns video
to legacy DVD+R media, so duration is limited to ~60 minutes. The high definition discs will play on most HD-DVD players (though obviously not DVD/Blu-ray players). Is this a token effort to gloss over HD-DVD's lack of mainstream titles and poor showing in the format war against Blu-ray? Or will the free offer resuscitate HD-DVD through the power of independent producers?"Link to Original Source