Researchers warn the attack would allow potential hackers to steal sensitive information stored on your RAM. Security researchers have discovered a flaw with nearly all modern computers that allow potential hackers to steal sensitive information from your locked devices.
The attack only takes about five minutes to pull off, if the hacker has physical access to the computer, F-Secure principal security consultant Olle Segerdahl said in a statement Thursday. Cold boot attacks can steal data on a computer’s RAM, where sensitive information is briefly stored after a forced reboot.
These attacks have been known since 2008, and most computers today have a safety measure where it removes the data stored on RAM to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information. It’s also not a common threat for the average person, since both access to the computer and special tools — like a program on a USB stick — are needed to carry out the attack.