The 2008 Pwnie Award For Most Innovative Research
Lest We Remember: Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys
This paper proved that DRAMs used in most modern computers retain memory contents after powering off, including data like passwords and encryption keys, for much longer than most people believed. The authors developed new techniques for recognizing and recovering encryption keys even after some bits have been lost due to memory decay. The impact of the research was demonstrated with software to break the full disk encryption implementations on Windows, OS X and Linux.