Tamperproof devices and backdoors

Peter Fairbrother peter.fairbrother at ntlworld.com
Fri May 25 20:27:57 EDT 2001

> Enzo Michelangeli at em at who.net wrote:

> On another mailing list, someone posted an interesting question: how to
> ascertain that a tamperproof device (e.g., a smartcard) contains no hidden
> backdoors? By definition, anything open to inspection is not tamperproof.

Inspectability and tamperproof-ness are not synonymous (except in quantum
mechanics). However keeping a key secret on a tamperproof device implies
that the secret can't be inspected. The device can be inspected before the
secret is installed, but that's probably the best that can be done (without
using quantum mechanics. I need coffee before I work out how to do that).

-- Peter

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