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Christopher Tarnovsky hacks Infineon's 'unhackable' chip, we prepare for false-advertising litigation

Tim Stevens
February 12, 2010
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As it turns out, Infineon may have been a little bit... optimistic when it said its SLE66 CL PE was "unhackable" -- but only a little. The company should have put an asterisk next to the word, pointing to a disclaimer indicating something to the effect of: "Unless you have an electron microscope, small conductive needles to intercept the chip's internal circuitry, and the acid necessary to expose it." Those are some of the tools available to researcher Christopher Tarnovsky, who perpetrated the hack and presented his findings at the Black Hat DC Conference earlier this month. Initially, Infineon claimed what he'd done was impossible, but now has taken a step back and said "the risk is manageable, and you are just attacking one computer." We would tend to agree in this case, but Tarnovsky still deserves serious respect for this one. Nice work, Big Gun.

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