Computers and Internet

Another BitLocker Exploit?

The simple answer is “no“.

We knew (and modeled, and tested) DPA back when we were testing BitLocker. As readers of this blog know we also tested Freon attacks, dual ported memory, tempest attacks and going after the root itself. (And other tests! Many, many tests. I had an extremely enthusiastic team in the “let’s break all the things!” department.)

Of course if you can get the root keys out of the TPM you can bork the root – that kinda goes without saying, right? As in, duh? I can’t fault the paper writers for using BitLocker for PR for their paper – after all, what other solutions are as successful and secure as BitLocker? It sounds like they did some great work. But it’s so not new news. It’s a decade old fact.

If you worry about this attack then you should use a TPM that is DPA resistant – historically there hasn’t been much money in building higher security TPMs. I saw some extremely robust TPM designs as far back as 2002 but they cost more money and the exploits weren’t there yet so the vendors couldn’t charge for them.

If this attack becomes common then I hope that vendors will respond and build more secure TPMs.


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