Feb 28, 2008

[Security] RAM retains data even when turned off?

Now, if this report is true, it changes our elementary computing concepts:

Typically we think of the hardware of our computers in a specific way. One of those is that the contents of RAM is gone as soon as you turn off the power. Makers of software such as ssh-agent, PGP software and hard disk encryption software rely on encryption keys in RAM that get erased when the system is turned off.

Newly published research goes a long way to show the hardware isn't behaving like most of us think it is and that memory modules, even removed from the motherboard can retain data for seconds to minutes allowing retrieval of the cryptographic keys.


This scenario adds a new dimension to data security. As most laptops issued to employees by most companies involved data encryption of some form, losing a laptop becomes more unbearable than ever.

You may get the PDF report here.

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