Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2009/002

Thermocommunication

Julien Brouchier and Nora Dabbous and Tom Kean and Carol Marsh and David Naccache

Abstract: Looking up -- you realize that one of the twelve light bulbs of your living room chandelier has to be replaced. You turn electricity off, move a table to the center of the room, put a chair on top of the table and, new bulb in hand, you climb up on top of the chair. As you reach the chandelier, you notice that\ldots all bulbs look alike and that you have forgotten which bulb needed to be changed.\smallskip

Restart all over again?\smallskip

Luckily, an effortless creative solution exists. By just touching the light bulbs you can determine the cold one and replace it! Put differently, information about the device's malfunction leaked-out via its temperature...

Category / Keywords: implementation / temperature side channel covert channel secret attack

Date: received 29 Dec 2008

Contact author: david naccache at ens fr

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20090104:222553 (All versions of this report)

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