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UCR Researchers Uncover New Hacking Methods to Steal Personal Information


Three demonstrations proved computer graphics cards could be manipulated to steal sensitive data.

University of California, Riverside researchers have demonstrated side-channel graphics processing unit attacks.

Credit: Getty Images

University of California, Riverside (UCR) researchers in October conducted side-channel graphics processing unit (GPU) attacks using direct and cross-computational stacks, laying siege to multiple programs simultaneously.

Three demonstrations proved computer graphics cards could be manipulated to steal sensitive data.

UCR's Nael Abu-Ghazaleh said for one attack, the team tracked a user's Web history by checking the GPU's available memory for each page's layout and objects, with machine learning helping to identify the websites being accessed.

Abu-Ghazaleh said the other two attacks followed similar tactics, with the second tracking passwords by "observing the times of the allocations...when the user presses a key" before using "different inter-keystroke timing for different key pairs" to calculate likely combinations.

The third strategy targeted cloud networks because GPUs give users performance counters to optimize their experience; said Abu-Ghazaleh, "we recover the structure of a neural network, often a sensitive secret of companies."

From The Highlander
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