Securing an evolving cryptographic landscape

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015.

Paul Kocher, the President and Chief Scientist of Rambus’ Cryptography Research Division, recently participated in a two-part panel session on the role of cryptography in a post-Snowden world.


The panel – which also featured Bart Preneel, Adi Shamir and Nigel Smart – discussed various security standards and implementations in the context of a changing cryptographic landscape.

Although panelists expressed a wide range of opinions, the security experts (generally) agreed cryptographic implementations would have to evolve to meet a new generation of threats.

“How do we reliably generate secure and random numbers? How do we safely store keys? These are just some of the questions cryptographers have to grapple with in 2015 and beyond,” Kocher told a packed auditorium.

The cryptographer also referred to recent reports that security analysts may have explored how to extract private encryption keys from Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) by “measuring electromagnetic signals emanating” from the chips. Kocher, who discovered the methodology behind side-channel attacks, previously told Rambus Press that such techniques are real and only increases as time goes by.

In addition, Kocher expressed concern over the possibility of rogue developers (or networks) operating in car factories unbeknownst to system administrators.

“It doesn’t take much for [cyber criminals] to insert an unauthorized back door into a vehicle system that could be exploited at a later date,” he concluded. “Other connected [IoT] systems and devices are also threatened by those intent on creating unauthorized back doors.”

Interested in learning more about how Rambus is helping to secure SoCs, devices and content? You can read more about our DPA countermeasures here, CryptoFireWall Cores here and CryptoManager platform here.