Physical Security Devices for Computer Subsystems: A Survey of Attacks and Defenses

  • Steve H. Weingart
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1965)


As the value of data on computing systems increases and operating systems become more secure, physical attacks on computing systems to steal or modify assets become more likely. This technology requires constant review and improvement, just as other competitive technologies need review to stay at the leading edge.

This paper describes known physical attacks, ranging from simple attacks that require little skill or resource, to complex attacks that require trained, technical people and considerable resources. Physical security methods to deter or prevent these attacks are presented. The intent is to match protection methods with the attack methods in terms of complexity and cost. In this way cost effective protection can be produced across a wide range of systems and needs.

Specific technical mechanisms now in use are shown, as well as mechanisms proposed for future use. Common design problems and solutions are discussed with consideration for manufacturing.


Smart Card Secret Data Physical Security Physical Attack Automate Teller Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve H. Weingart
    • 1
  1. 1.Secure Systems and Smart Card GroupIBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneNY

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