August 29, 2003**12 reports (okay, reported, I know I'm way behind the curve on blogging this) on bypassing a Java smartcard security by shining a lamp on it:
The technique relies on the ability of energy to “flip bits” in memory. While cosmic rays very occasionally can cause a random bit in memory to change value, from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 0, Govindavajhala decided not to wait. He used a lamp to heat up the chips inside a computer and cause one or more bits of memory to change.
What's extra fun is realizing that I now have to worry about cosmic rays screwing with my software. How am I supposed to write a failing test for that?

tags: ComputersAndTechnology SoftwareAppreciation
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