Teardown of a Model SID700 RSA SecurID Token


Kerry Wong conducts a teardown of a SecurID token, which includes a unique epoxy/glue method of assembly and also a protection mechanism that somehow detects when the token has been tampered with.

These RSA SecurID tokens basically are just pseudo-random number generators. Each token displays a random number from the sequence predetermined by the seed value and the algorithm every minute. During authentication, the user selected passcode (typically chosen when the SecurID was initially assigned) concatenated with the random number displayed at the time being forms the password, which is used to authenticate to the server. Because the clock on the SecurID token and that on the server are independent, the cumulative effect of clock drift would result in the number generated from the token to be out of sequence compared to the number generated on the server. Thus the server side employees some kind of algorithm to periodically adjust the actual pseduo-random number generated based on the actual number presented from the SecurID.


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