palladium presentation - anyone going?

Adam Back adam at
Thu Oct 17 14:15:38 EDT 2002

Would someone at MIT / in Boston area like to go to this and send a
report to the list?  Might help clear up some of the currently
unexplained aspects about Palladium, such as:

- why they think it couldn't be used to protect software copyright (as
the subject of Lucky's patent)

- are there plans to move SCP functions into processor?  any relation
to Intel Lagrange

- isn't it quite weak as someone could send different information to
the SCP and processor, thereby being able to forge remote attestation
without having to tamper with the SCP; and hence being able to run
different TOR, observe trusted agents etc.

I notice at the bottom of the talk invite it says 

| "Palladium" is not designed to provide defenses against
| hardware-based attacks that originate from someone in control of the
| local machine.

but in this case how does it meet the BORA prevention.  Is it BORA
prevention _presuming_ the local user is not interested to reconfigure
his own hardware?

Will it really make any significant difference to DRM enforcement
rates?  Wouldn't the subset of the file sharing community who produce
DVD rips still produce Pd DRM rips if the only protection is the
assumption that the user won't make simple hardware modifications.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: LCS/CIS Talk, OCT 18, TOMORROW
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 12:49:01 -0400
From: Be Blackburn <be at>
To: theory-seminars at
CC: cis-seminars at

Open to the Public

Date:     Friday, Oct 18, 2002 
Time:     10:30 a.m.- 12:00 noon 
Place:    NOTE: NE43-518, 200 Tech Square 
Title:    Palladium
Speaker:  Brian LaMacchia, Microsoft Corp.
Hosts:    Ron Rivest and Hal Abelson


This talk will present a technical overview of the Microsoft
"Palladium" Initiative.  The "Palladium" code name refers to a set of
hardware and software security features currently under development
for a future version of the Windows operating system.  "Palladium"
adds four categories of security services to today's PCs:

  a. Curtained memory. The ability to wall off and hide pages of main
memory so that each "Palladium" application can be assured that it is
not modified or observed by any other application or even the
operating system.

  b. Attestation. The ability for a piece of code to digitally sign
or otherwise attest to a piece of data and further assure the
signature recipient that the data was constructed by an unforgeable,
cryptographically identified software stack.

  c. Sealed storage. The ability to securely store information so
that a "Palladium" application or module can mandate that the
information be accessible only to itself or to a set of other trusted
components that can be identified in a cryptographically secure

  d. Secure input and output. A secure path from the keyboard and
mouse to "Palladium" applications, and a secure path from "Palladium"
applications to an identifiable region of the screen.

Together, these features provide a parallel execution environment to
the "traditional" kernel- and user-mode stacks.  The goal of
"Palladium" is to help protect software from software; that is, to
provide a set of features and services that a software application can
use to defend against malicious software also running on the machine
(viruses running in the main operating system, keyboard sniffers,
frame grabbers, etc).  "Palladium" is not designed to provide defenses
against hardware-based attacks that originate from someone in control
of the local machine.

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