Thursday, September 9, 2004
Noon - 1 pm
Wean Hall 8220
Secure Bootstrap is Not Enough: Shoring up the Trusted Computer Base
We propose augmenting secure boot with a mechanism to protect against
compromises to field-upgradeable devices. In particular, secure boot
standards should verify the firmware of all devices in the computer, not
just devices that are accessible by the host CPU. Modern computers contain
many autonomous processing elements, such as disk controllers, disks,
network adapters, and coprocessors, that all have field-upgradeable firmware
and are an essential component of the computer system's trust model.
Ignoring these devices opens the system to attacks similar to those secure
boot was engineered to defeat.
James Hendricks is a third-year graduate student in the Computer Science
Department at Carnegie Mellon. He received his B.S. degree in EECS in 2002
from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests lie
primarily in operating systems and storage systems, especially the impact of
security and architecture on operating systems and storage systems. He is
currently working on the Self-* Storage project.
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