[Cryptography] China Spies In SuperMicro Mobos - Exemplar #OpenFabs Required

Thierry Moreau thierry.moreau at connotech.com
Sat Oct 6 14:45:46 EDT 2018

On 05/10/18 06:04 AM, grarpamp wrote:
> https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies
> https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-amazon-apple-supermicro-and-beijing-respond
> https://old.reddit.com/r/homelab/comments/9lapzs/big_supermicro_hack_how_many_of_us_bought_these/
> And NSA + countries et al in Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Phones...
> Fake news or not, you still cannot trust any closed thing.

However, I do not see any ISA (instruction set architecture) for which 
the proprietary sub-components are absent or minimized. The matter 
becomes worse as the level of system integration increases.

> And the real news keeps coming year after year after year.
> And the closed secrets, so many not ever published to you...
> You fools!
> So when will you learn, create, sell, and deploy your
> own proactive defense like...
> #OpenFabs , #OpenHW , #OpenSW , #OpenDev , #OpenBiz
> These things are possible! And immensely profitable as a feature.

Cost-effectiveness in the short term, and long term procurement 
reliability are serious issues.

My best attempt so far is ARM-based, in a SOC configuration targeted at 
TV set boxes, for which hobbyist boards are almost cheap, and long-term 
support should remain as the consumer market segment is stable. U-boot 
and Linux kernel support by the community is good. The vendor claim for 
open hardware is an overstatement.

The tradeoff is remaining proprietary aspects, including boot details, 
GPU (which I don't use), and crypto accelerator (which I don't need 
given the main CPU power).

> Do them.
> Now.

- Thierry

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