Remote timing attacks are practical

Friday, 14 March 2003, 5:26 PM EST

Timing attacks are usually used to attack weak computing devices such as smartcards. We show that timing attacks apply to general software systems. Specifically, we devise a timing attack against OpenSSL. Our experiments show that we can extract private keys from an OpenSSL-based web server running on a machine in the local network. Our results demonstrate that timing attacks against network servers are practical and therefore all security systems should defend against them.

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