[Cryptography] Qubes

Jason Cooper cryptography at lakedaemon.net
Wed Nov 16 11:18:21 EST 2016

Hi John,

On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 11:44:12PM -0700, John Denker wrote:
> Is there anybody here who would care to comment on Qubes?
>   "A reasonably secure operating system"
>   https://www.qubes-os.org/
> It's kinda new, and I have zero first-hand experience with it,
> but people seem to be saying nice things about it.

Hmm, iirc, it's been around for at least 2 to 3 years.

> The basic idea seems to be to use modern VM features (and optionally
> TPM) to tilt the playing field in favor of defenders.  Also they
> seem to have a good attitude toward following through on the 10001
> little things that are required.

Yes, Joanna Rutkowska was the one who originally discovered Blue Pill

> The downside is that it demands a lot of the hardware.

I would say that's task-dependent.  It will certainly consume more RAM,
even sitting idle.  Modern processors are adept at reducing the burden
introduced by virtualization.  The only exception to this is heavy
amounts of compiling.

The way they design it, the performance-critical pieces of hardware are
passed-through to the relevant VMs.  So the wifi card is not
virtualized.  The VM handling it uses the actual driver for that card
and directly controls it.  IOMMU/Vt-d prevents it from becoming an
escape vector.

All-in-all, I like the concept, but I've not tried it recently.



[0] https://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.md/2006/06/introducing-blue-pill.html

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