Researchers crack RSA encryption algorithm

In December of 2009 we learned that the encryption algorithm used to protect GMS voice calls had been cracked. The cracking of the encryption meant that some voice calls might be vulnerable to eavesdropping. Researchers at the University of Michigan have announced that they have found a major weakness in the popular RSA encryption algorithm.

RSA is used to protect a wide range of data from information on laptops and smartphone to banking information. The researchers found that they could defeat the RSA encryption by varying the voltage supplied to the holder of the private key needed to decrypt content using RSA.

The private key would be stored on the consumer device when RSA is used for copy protection on the servers used by banks of businesses. The team claims that it is very unlikely that a hacker would be able to use the exploit against large enterprises. The researchers were able to extract the private key in about 100 hours using their voltage tweaking scheme.