A group led by a Princeton University computer security researcher has developed a simple method to steal encrypted information stored on computer hard disks.


The technique, which could undermine security software protecting critical data on computers, is as easy as chilling a computer memory chip with a blast of frigid air from a can of dust remover. Encryption software is widely used by companies and government agencies, notably in portable computers that are especially susceptible to theft.


The development, which was described on the group's Web site Thursday, could also have implications for the protection of encrypted personal data from prosecutors.


The move,...

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