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TPM (was: Broken dream of mine :()

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: TPM (was: Broken dream of mine :()
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 02:36:30 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.19 (2009-01-05)


On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 03:57:26PM +0100, Sam Mason wrote:

> Yup, I wasn't trying to protect against the admin.  Just noting that
> it will help to tell them when things are getting out of date.

If you trust the admin not to be actively hostile, you don't need a TPM.
Normal software is perfectly sufficient to check for outdated stuff,
unless the admin manipulates it on purpose.

> But you can't be sure that a remote attacker hasn't put a rootkit in
> somewhere.  AFAIU, TPM should allow you to detect this.

TPM doesn't really protect against security being compromised. All it
does is guarantee that certain components haven't been modified -- but
if the unmodified components were secure, the system couldn't have been
compromised in the first place...

(It can make it harder for a rootkit to hide across reboots -- but I'm
not convinced that this results in a major security win.)

> I personally think that the media's perverted use of TPM has colored
> most peoples' viewpoint of it.  There was a lot of good research that
> went into it and it seems like a waste to throw it all away just because
> the use that people initially heard about is particularly horrible.

The way vendor keys are managed clearly shows that the whole
infrastructure has been designed for the "particularily horrible" use


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