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Faces will go red over digital signature crack

So much for secure European Union transactions

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As we reported yesterday, crackers have managed to break apart the chip that powers Siemens digital signature card, posing questions about the European Union's recent ratification of the standard. Now we have received details of the disassembled file together with comments from Matthias Brüstle, who posted a TeX file on a German bulletin boards yesterday. The file shows disassembly of the CMS/RMS for the Siemens SLE44/66 chip at the heart of the security system for Germany, dated yesterday. Brüstle comments at the head of the document, which is dated the 1st of December: "A plain disassembly read from a chip card is commented. There is also shown a possible attack." He then shows the structure of the CMS/RMS system, saying: "The Chip/Resource Management System (CMS/RMS) is split in two parts. The first 1kB at the address 0x0000, the second 1kB at the address 0x4000. In the following I describe only the parts I understood what they do." He points out that the normal execution of the chip can be bypassed in two ways, both of which can lead to security breaches by anyone with a card who understands the assembly codes. His conclusions: " Never trust anything." So far, we are unaware of how Siemens, the German government or the European Union are reacting to the claimed crack. ®

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