[Cryptography] open hardware as a defence against state-level attacks

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Sun Jan 11 23:49:20 EST 2015

On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 3:06 AM, ianG <iang at iang.org> wrote:
> As much discussed here, it may be that open designs to defend against state
> level attacks are moving down the deployment stack into the hardware level:
> http://rt.com/news/220279-slur-market-leak-security/
>  RT: The NSA has been trying to go after Tor users for a while now, but
> seemingly with little success. Do you think enough has been done to ensure

Tor only protects against some rather narrow cases. Passive (and active)
adversaries are quite capable attackers if given the oppurtunity.
I would think you could defeat some passive attacks by filling all the
links with
data/chaff fulltime, but no one seems to be developing that theory in practice.

> mathematics. We’ve also built an open-source processor with security
> features designed to protect both the Tor relay and slow market
> applications. This is achieved by separating those processes from the host
> operating system with hardware-anchored cryptographic isolation. The system
> on chip is based on an OpenSPARC T1 by Sun Microsystems with substantial
> enhancements to the hypervisor and two cryptographic co-processors. That
> will be released in about a month and the designs for the development board
> and the logic of the system on chip will be of course open source.

Sorry, but unless your own trusted third party observers are following your
"open" hardware at every step from design to microcode to lithography
fab through to binary exhaustive test vectors... you are subject to potential
compromise at any step along the way. Please stop claiming otherwise.

Snowden tells both these things above, yet few move far enough towards
real countermeasures, thus allowing complacency, acceptance, and reversion
to past states to set in.

More information about the cryptography mailing list