Mobile Threat Catalogue



Threat Category: USIM / SIM / UICC security

ID: STA-32

Threat Description: Chemical Solvents, Etching and Staining Materials smartcards can be de-layered and de-capsulated by etching materials. Etching dissolves the metal and silicon layers of the chip. Staining is an advanced etching technique that uses differences in etching speed to reveal subtle material differences that define the ones and zeroes in some ROM memories.

Threat Origin

A Review of Smartcard Security Issues 1

Exploit Examples

Not Applicable

CVE Examples

Not Applicable

Possible Countermeasures


  1. H. Ko and R. Caytiles, “A Review of Smartcard Security Issues,” Journal of Security Engineering, 8, no. 3 (2011): 6. [accessed 10/11/21]