Where is the best place to hide a security flaw in software? How about nowhere – but instead in the hardware itself. Deep within the recesses of the computer’s microchip, to be more precise. Researchers from the University of Michigan have proven that this is possible, and it’s earned them the award for best paper at the recent IEEE Symposium on Privacy and Security. Not only did they prove it was possible, they were also able to demonstrate how virtually impossible it would be to detect.
Described as a ‘backdoor’ flaw, the microscopic element of the chip can be activated by certain electronic patterns and then deactivated when necessary, leaving no trace of the security breach behind it, and no means of detecting the breach while it’s happening. Despite publishing their discovery, the researchers insist their intention is to prevent such an attack rather than release information into the public domain which would enable one.
Read the full story at https://www.wired.com/2016/06/demonically-clever-backdoor-hides-inside-computer-chip