Its science FFS
Ok, I can't really see why so many people are complaining that this is a publicity hunting exercise by scientists. It probably is ... they need to do those to survive these days due to the stupidity of the modern world that science should be relevant. Thank god we didn't believe that before, otherwise we'd have no modern technology at all - electricity was just an interesting phenomenon once, people.
Science is there for its OWN sake ... like philosophy, music, drama and literature ... its PRIMARY purpose is to enrich the human condition by understanding our universe. Lots of nice technology is a great SECONDARY by-product - but the moment we make it the principal purpose is the moment we stop really doing science.
This is a very interesting attack. It shows you could introduce processing glitches - in this case by PSU tweaking, but maybe in future by a remote microwave beam etc - which cause a supposedly non-key revealing algorithm to reveal its key. It demonstrates use a network of ancient, virtually obselete machines as a sufficient cheap grid, showing a small botnet would suffice for a calculation (brute forcing a 1024bit key) that should require millions of CPUs. Did the poster who mentioned it only taking 20 mins on Amazons EC2 remember how networks such as EC2 ever came to be developed? It is researchers like this who - eventually - make stuff like that possible.
They have even shown there is a fix to this. Ok, maybe they are looking too hard for a moment of fame by calling it 'severe', although I agree with some of the posters who have pointed out once a consumer hardware device's private key is out there, that actually IS a serious thing.
But FFS, lets give these people some respect. When I was one I was paid less than half as much, worked more than twice as hard and had about the same job security (albeit year-on-year rather than month-on-month) as a contractor. I'm sure it's not much different now. And even if only 1% of these people will make 'useful' contributions during their research, the ratio wont get any higher if you make scientists focus on 'useful' stuff, as the whole thing about science is we don't know what will turn out to be useful.
This is great stuff, proper science, and kudos to the folks involved - even if they have slightly exaggerated the severity, which I'm not sure they have.