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Indian origin scientist develop hack-proof chip

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New York: An Indian origin researcher has made a breakthrough in developing a new type of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip which is virtually impossible to hack. This chip would prove to be beneficial in preventing your credit card number or key card information from being stolen.

Chiraag Juvekar, the graduate student in electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said the chip is designed to prevent so called side-channel attacks.

Side-channel attacks analyze patterns of memory access or fluctuations in power usage when a device is performing a cryptographic operation, in order to extract its cryptographic key.

“The idea in a side-channel attack is that a given execution of the cryptographic algorithm only leaks a slight amount of information,” Juvekar said.

“So you need to execute the cryptographic algorithm with the same secret many, many times to get enough leakage to extract a complete secret,” he explained.

One way to thwart side-channel attacks is to regularly change secret keys.

In that case, the RFID chip would run a random-number generator that would spit out a new secret key after each transaction.

A central server would run the same generator, and every time an RFID scanner queried the tag, it would relay the results to the server, to see if the current key was valid.

Such a system would still, however, be vulnerable to a “power glitch” attack in which the RFID chip’s power would be repeatedly cut right before it changed its secret key.

An attacker could then run the same side-channel attack thousands of times, with the same key.

Two design innovations allow the MIT researchers’ chip to thwart power-glitch attacks.

One is an on-chip power supply whose connection to the chip circuitry would be virtually impossible to cut and the other is a set of “nonvolatile” memory cells that can store whatever data the chip is working on when it begins to lose power.

For both of these features, Juvekar and Anantha Chandrakasan, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and others used a special type of material known as ferroelectric crystals.

Texas Instruments and other chip manufacturers have been using ferroelectric materials to produce nonvolatile memory or computer memory that retains data when it’s powered off.

Along with Texas Instruments that has built several prototypes of the new chip, the researchers presented their research at the “International Solid-State Circuits Conference” in San Francisco recently. (IANS) (picture courtesy: iran-daily.com)

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Most of 2030’s Jobs Haven’t Been Invented Yet

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

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JOBS
In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

More than two-thirds of jobs that today’s college students will have in 11 years haven’t been invented yet.

“Those who plan to work for the next 50 years, they have to have a mindset of like, ‘I’m going to be working and learning and working and learning, and working and learning,’ in order to make a career,” says Rachel Maguire, a research director with the Institute for the Future, which forecasts that 85 percent of the jobs that today’s young people will hold in 2030 don’t exist right now.

The Institute for the Future, a nonprofit that identities emerging trends and their impacts on global society, envisions that by 2030, we’ll be living in a world where artificial assistants help us with almost every task, not unlike the way email tries to finish spelling a word for users today.

Maguire says it will be like having an assistant working alongside you, taking on tasks at which the human brain does not excel.

“For the human, for the people who are digitally literate who are able to take advantage, they’ll be well-positioned to elevate their position, elevate the kind of work they can do, because they’ve got essentially an orchestra of digital technologies that they’re conducting,” she says. “They’re just playing the role of a conductor, but the work’s being done, at least in partnership, with these machines.”

New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner's respective strengths.
New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner’s respective strengths. VOA

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says today’s students will have eight to 10 jobs by the time they are 38.

And they won’t necessarily have to take time away from any one of those jobs for workforce training or to gain additional certifications related to their fields. Instead, they’ll partner with machines for on-the-job learning, wearing an augmented reality headset that will give them the information they need in real-time to get the work done.

“It eliminates the need for people to step away from income generating opportunities to recertify in order to learn a new skill so they can level up and earn more money,” Maguire says. “It gives the opportunity for people to be able to learn those kinds of new skills and demonstrate proficiency in-the-moment at the job.”

Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com)
Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com) VOA

And forget about traditional human resources departments or the daunting task of looking for a job on your own. In the future, the job might come to you.

Potential employers will draw from different data sources, including online business profiles and social media streams, to get a sense of a person and their skill set.

Maquire says there’s already a lot of activity around turning employment into a matchmaking endeavor, using artificial intelligence and deep learning to help the right person and the right job find each other.

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

“We have to be cognizant that the people who are building these tools aren’t informing these tools with their own biases, whether they’re intentional or not,” Maguire says. “These systems will only be as good as the data that feeds them.”

Also Read: Migrant Caravan Still Stuck in Mexico Shelter, Frustration Grows By Every Passing Day

Which leads Maguire to another point. While she doesn’t want to sound melodramatic or evangelical about emerging technologies, she believes it is critical for the public to get engaged now, rather than sitting back and letting technology happen to them.

“What do we want from these new technological capabilities, and how do we make sure we put in place the social policies and the social systems that will result in what it is we all want?” she says. “I have a deep concern that we’re just kind of sitting back and letting technology tell us what jobs we’ll have and what jobs we won’t have, rather than us figuring out how to apply these technologies to improve the human condition.” (VOA)