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

Jonathan Thornburg jthorn at astro.indiana.edu
Sun Jun 19 18:29:51 EDT 2011


I wrote
> 2. If you don't trust the hardware, then you shouldn't use it.  Ever.
> 
> It's really that simple: there's simply no way for software to be
> safe in the presence of malicious hardware. :(
> 
> Indeed, there's no way for software to *detect* malicious hardware. :(
> 
> See, for example, the classic paper
>   @inproceedings{1996-1849,
>     title={The Dark Side of "Black-Box" Cryptography, or: Should We Trust Capstone?},
>     booktitle={CRYPTO},
>     pages={89-103},
>     authors={Adam Young and Moti Yung},
>     year=1996
>     url = "http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.54.616&rank=1"
>   }

Sorry, that reference was a /dev/brain parity error on my part --
while an interesting paper, it discusses something a bit different.


> or the following brilliant rant by Henry Spencer from way back in the
> 20th century:
[[...]]

This is the "right" reference, which I think nicely addresses the OP's
question.

Sorry for the mixup,

-- 
-- "Jonathan Thornburg [remove -animal to reply]" <jthorn at astro.indiana-zebra.edu>
   Dept of Astronomy & IUCSS, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
   "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
    powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
                                      -- quote by Freire / poster by Oxfam



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