Risky Business #240 -- FPGA "back doors"

When it's Chinese it's a back door. When it's European it's a debugger.
31 May 2012 » Risky Business

On this week's show we're taking a look at some research out of Cambridge University that's drawn a lot of attention. It involves a claim that researchers found a hardware back door on a Chinese-made FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array).

That FPGA is apparently used in military hardware. You can find links to the draft paper and a write-up here.

So was this "back door" put there by super-secret Chinese cyber-warriors? Or is it something much less interesting like an undocumented debugging interface?

Peter Gutmann is this week's feature guest and he'll be telling us all about it.

This week's show is sponsored by SensePost.

SensePost is a South African security consultancy that also has a presence in Europe. They are some seriously, seriously smart people and we're thrilled to have them as a sponsor.

In this week's sponsor interview we're taking a look at some research the company has done into cloning RSA soft tokens. We all know that soft tokens are theoretically weak, but SensePost's Behrang Fouladi set his mind to actually reversing them and seeing just how easy it is. As it turns out, very.

Adam Boileau, as always, stops by to discuss the week's news.