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Low cost radio wave attacks on modern platforms

by Mickey Shakatov + Maggie Jaurequi, Intel

A very simple attack vector that remains relevant to the vast majority of electronic systems is electro-magnetic interference (EMI). Although EMI has recently been known to be used in security research for passively sniffing crypto keys across walls or performing side channel attacks, these attacks require expensive and delicate equipment. This research reviews EMI's potential as a wireless, low cost active attack vector. We've put together a collection of interesting behavior anomalies in platform components (sometimes even when systems aren't plugged into a power outlet) when exposed to EMI using cheap radio equipment. These attacks could have further reaching applicability scenarios we'd like to bring awareness to.