Science

Computing: Harmful chips hidden on circuit boards revealed

Careful observation of the power consumption of a circuit board can reveal telltale signs that an attacker has tampered with it and installed a malicious device designed to steal sensitive information or cause crashes, say researchers.

Technology



18 April 2022

Electronic circuit board close up.; Shutterstock ID 1295678530; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Electronic circuit board

Shutterstock/raigvi

Manufacturers often design printed circuit boards for their products but lack manufacturing capability, so they outsource production. Experts warn that these factories are a point of vulnerability where an attacker could insert malicious features, known as Trojan attacks. These Trojan attacks could steal sensitive data or crash a device when triggered.

Only one such attack has ever been reported in the wild, detailed in a Bloomberg article in 2018, but later denied by all companies mentioned. Theodore Markettos at the University of Cambridge  says that no firm …


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