Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

6/25/2008
07:30 PM
50%
50%

TPM: A Matter Of Trust

The Trusted Platform Module never releases its internal key outside itself, so it becomes its own root of trust.

The Trusted Platform Module is a hardware-based cryptographic root of trust.

The idea behind hardware-based trust is that trust must start somewhere. Whether it begins in a preloaded bundle of certificates from various certificate authorities (as SSL does in browsers) or from a web of trust manually established at Pretty Good Privacy key-signing parties, cryptographic algorithms are only as strong as the trust they're built on.

If you want a secure transaction with someone, at some point in the past you must have verified the identity, or had someone you trust verify the identity--as SSL certificate authorities claim to do. Then, trust relationships are used to securely pass that information forward to a later transaction. Assuming there aren't any bugs in the crypto itself, this chain of trust allows for convenience later on from an initial trust relationship.

InformationWeek Reports

TPM gets its own internal key from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer theoretically is unable to track those keys. TPM never releases its internal key to anything outside of itself, so it becomes its own root of trust.

Of course, bugs do crop up. The cryptographic math is fairly well-understood at this point, but implementations often leave something to be desired.

Take, for example, the recent weakness in the Nintendo Wii's code-signing and verification mechanism, which was meant to ensure that only authorized apps would run on the game console. Implementation flaws resulted in third parties being able to bypass the protection. Datel, which makes video-game peripherals and cheat systems, released a commercial product based on the flaw. A small group of Wii hackers also had been using the flaw to explore the Wii. Nintendo has since fixed the problem.

Return to the story:
A Tipping Point For The Trusted Platform Module?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
5 Ways to Up Your Threat Management Game
Wayne Reynolds, Advisory CISO, Kudelski Security,  2/26/2020
Google Adds More Security Features Via Chronicle Division
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/25/2020
Cybersecurity Industry: It's Time to Stop the Victim Blame Game
Jessica Smith, Senior Vice President, The Crypsis Group,  2/25/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9463
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-28
Centreon 19.10 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary OS commands via shell metacharacters in the server_ip field in JSON data in an api/internal.php?object=centreon_configuration_remote request.
CVE-2020-5247
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-28
In Puma (RubyGem) before 4.3.2 and 3.12.2, if an application using Puma allows untrusted input in a response header, an attacker can use newline characters (i.e. `CR`, `LF` or`/r`, `/n`) to end the header and inject malicious content, such as additional headers or an entirely new response body. This...
CVE-2020-9447
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-28
The file-upload feature in GwtUpload 1.0.3 allows XSS via a crafted filename.
CVE-2019-10064
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-28
hostapd before 2.6, in EAP mode, makes calls to the rand() and random() standard library functions without any preceding srand() or srandom() call, which results in inappropriate use of deterministic values. This was fixed in conjunction with CVE-2016-10743.
CVE-2019-8741
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-28
A denial of service issue was addressed with improved input validation.