In cryptography (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptography), a cold boot attack (or to a lesser extent, a platform reset attack) is a type of side channel attack (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_channel_attack) in which an attacker with physical access (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_access) to a computer is able to retrieve encryption keys (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(cryptography)) from a running operating system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system) after using a cold reboot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reboot_(computing)#Hard_reboot) to restart the machine. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_boot_attack#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcIver2006-1) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_boot_attack#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHaldermanSchoenHeningerClarkson2008-2) The attack relies on the data remanence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence) property of DRAM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_random_access_memory) and SRAM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_random_access_memory) to retrieve memory contents which remain readable in the seconds to minutes after power has been removed.
At this 2600 meeting, we will be attempting to perform a cold boot attack on a computer. There will probably be several attempts. First we'll try to read some random string we've purposely put into the ram, and once we can reliably do that we'll move on to attempting to recover the encryption keys of a whole disk encrypted hard drive.