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Encryption broken with microphone, couple of emails

(Forbes) As if it wasn’t enough that the NSA paid RSA $10 million to adopt an algorithm that wasn’t entirely secure, researchers have now demonstrated that they can break even RSA 4096 bit encryption with little more than a few emails and a microphone. And that microphone can indeed just be one in a smartphone sitting on the desk.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science discovered that they could steal even the largest, most secure RSA 4,096-bit encryption keys simply by listening to a laptop as it decrypts data.

To accomplish the trick, the researchers used a microphone to record the noises made by the computer, then ran that audio through filters to isolate the vibrations made by the electronic internals during the decryption process. With that accomplished, some cryptanalysis revealed the encryption key in around an hour.