Is there a way for your computer not to be hacked?
Hacking is now one of the most common yet dangerous thing about using technology. Anyone, with the right amount of knowledge about software and hardware, can open a computer and save his file and personal data without them knowing. To make sure hackers won’t get your way, researchers from University of Michigan created a computer processor that is said to be ‘unhackable.’ Is this possible?
Morpheus, the latest processor innovation of University of Michigan’s researcher Todd Austin, recently was introduced to stop the low-level malware attacks in a computer. Instead of preventing them from coming in, the processor inserts so-called various ‘puzzles’ to make it hard for hackers to break into the system.
In their report via Spectrum, Austin clarified that the ‘unhackable’ term for Morpheus is not really true for now. If hackers get to be more decisive and expert in doing high-class attacks, the processor may still be hacked. However, with the help of their innovation, the probability of making it happen easily could lessen in chances.
As Austin describes it:
Think about driving a car: The defined semantics of your car are that it has a steering wheel; it has a left/right blinker; it may have a stick shift depending on the kind of car; it has as an on-off button. Once you know those basic features, you can drive your car. The undefined semantics are: Is it four cylinders or six cylinders? Does it run on diesel or electric? Does it have ABS braking or non-ABS braking? Attackers need to know all that underlying stuff, because they need to use that knowledge to step around the defenses. It is the telltale sign of an attack that it is dipping into the implementation details of a system.
As explained by Austin, the secret of maintaining the secured format of Morpheus is the concept of cryptography. The encryption happens every 100 milliseconds. Soon, researchers plan to get to 10 milliseconds, so the information can’t leave the building before changing, which would force attackers to have to be present in the vicinity of the targeted computer.
The underlying implementation will be so unique that you will never see the one that you’re on now again, ever, on any other machine in the future. It is completely unique in time and space. The key mechanism that’s under the hood here is making this machine change and change and change and never be the same ever again. It’s cryptography, just simple cryptography.
Thought the concept is a great start for making secured computers in the future, Austin and his co-researchers are still having problems on “how do you make it mind bogglingly difficult to understand for an attacker, but not affect the normal programmer?”
Since the pandemic started, cybercrime increased up to 600% due to phishing email scams. Research also shows ransomware attacks are estimated to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021 alone. Some of these ransomware attack victims even pay their hackers for the information not to be publicized on the internet.