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Crypto Security Boost: 5 Ways To Shield Hardware Wallets From Side Channel Attacks

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet adoption continues to grow more and more every day as more people become interested in cryptocurrencies. It is worth noting that these wallets are vulnerable to side-channel attacks. These side-channel attacks have been known to expose the information of the users.

Let us look at some of the ways we can prevent our crypto wallets from becoming subject to attacks by hackers.

How Do Side-Channel Attacks Work?

The side channel attacks focus on the physical implementation of the crypto hardware system instead of the algorithm. They make use of the contents exposed during the leakage period for instance timing variations, electromagnetic emissions and power consumption.

These components can expose the private keys of the users and this can prove to be catastrophic for them as the security levels lower.

5 Ways To Avoid Crypto Hardware Wallet Side Channel Attacks

1.     Providing security to the hardware design

We can do this by trying out the following measures:

  1. Isolation: This involves separating the components to reduce leakage of the information in the various parts of the system.
  2. Shielding: Enforcing barriers that prevent electromagnetic emissions that hackers can use.
  3. Randomization: Setting up random measures that can cause delays within the hacker’s attempts to leak information.

2. Enforcing cryptographic countermeasures

Some of these countermeasures include:

  1. Applying masks: This is done to the cryptographic operations. Noise is produced and poses a nuisance to the hackers.
  2. Deploying use of random algorithms: When the algorithms include randomization, it becomes tricky for the attackers to link side-channel information with cryptographic operations.

3. Enforcing protection to the power and timing analysis operations

The attackers are always checking the power being consumed and the timing variations. To enforce the protection to these parameters:

  1. The algorithms that are in use must make sure the time of execution remains the same any time data input occurs.
  2. Use power shaping techniques that make the electric patterns difficult to predict.

4. Prevention using the software

  1. The introduction of noise to the information and the performance renders the process difficult for attackers to get access to information.
  2. Using power modifiers that change the power consumption patterns at the same time prevents the attackers from analyzing leaked data.

5. Carrying out continuous monitoring and evaluation

Perform regular security audits: This is done to check for side channel weaknesses and respond to them appropriately.

Make sure you update the firmware with the latest security protocols to enhance protection.

It is important to ensure that your crypto hardware wallets are a crucial part of your finances. Coming up with ways of preventing side-channel attacks will do the wallet owner justice as no money or assets will be stolen. The techniques discussed above have proven to be effective for many.

Also Read: Revival of Dormant Bitcoin Wallet: Historical Insights


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