Microsoft signs deal with anti hacking outfit

Microsoft has signed a licensing deal with anti-hacking outfit Cryptography Research.

The San Francisco outfit specialises in preventing Differential Power Analysis attacks which apparently involve monitoring the fluctuating electrical power consumption of a target device and then using advanced statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys and other secrets from the data collected.

DPA countermeasures have helped protect secrets used in applications such as mobile devices, banking, government and defence, pay television, mass transit, secure ID, secure storage media, and FPGAs in the past, but it's not clear how Microsoft will use any of the 50 security patents currently held by Cryptographic Research.

According to the company, its security technology is baked into more than 4.5 billion chips every year.