[cryptography] Is it possible to protect against malicious hw accelerators?

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sat Jun 18 18:26:29 EDT 2011


On 2011-06-19 6:08 AM, slinky wrote:
> Now, put on your tinfoil beanie and suppose the hw accelerator is a
> Mallory. Suppose there is some kind of a built-in weakness/backdoor,
> for instance as a persistent memory inside the chip, which stores the
> last N keys. Having physical access to the machine would yield the keys
> (thus subverting e.g. any disk encryption). And even more paranoidly, a
> proper instruction sequence could blurt the key cache out for convenient
> remote access by malware crafted by the People Who Know The Secrets.

If you have malware on your machine custom made to steal your secrets, 
you are pretty much hosed anyway.

If someone is crafting malware for you and you alone, you are unlikely 
to detect it, but a more common scenario is to spray the net with 
malware, in which case it is likely to be detected.



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