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The Unhackable Envelope


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The unhackable envelope.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security have developed an envelope for hardware security modules that requires no battery and cannot be broken into without deleting its stored data.

Credit: Fraunhofer AISEC

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security in Germany have developed an envelope for hardware security modules that requires no battery and cannot be broken into without deleting its stored data.

The B-Trepid solution supplants the stored key with one supported by the structure of the envelope itself.

B-Trepid estimates the femtofarad capacitances between its mesh of micrometer-scale wires instead of the resistances in the mesh, and these capacitances vary between envelopes in unpredictable ways, generating a unique electrical signature for each enclosure.

When B-Trepid is plugged into its computer network and activated, the external mesh produces a key to encrypt all system data, thwarting theft when it is deactivated by rendering the key nonexistent, obviating the need for a battery.

Penetrating the mesh triggers a shift in capacitances and changes its physical unclonable function, causing any data within the system to become unreadable.

From IEEE Spectrum
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