Security Focus: Creative attacks beat crypto

Ann Harrison reports on Paul Kocher’s talk at last week’s Usenix Security Conference in San Francisco.

In a world of increasing complexity, the length of time a product is secure often depends on the availability of alternative targets, the cryptographer concludes. When a new smart card system was issued in France, Kocher says the rate of attacks on these cards went down while attacks on cards in surrounding countries went up because they were easier targets. “For risk management systems, your design goal should be ‘better than the next guy,'” says Kocher.

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