Jarkko Sakkinen

Edited 5 months ago

James Bottomley posted new version of the #HMAC encryption patches for #TPM2:

I spent some time refactoring the tpm_buf changes because they were the major glitch for me in the earlier versions, and those patches have been included now to this series, which is of course great. The series is probably rather sooner than later ready for inclusion to the mainline.

This adds up to the TPM2 sealed hard drive encryption by mitigating bus interposers by a factor. An interposer is an actor intercepting traffic between the CPU and a discrete TPM chip (i.e. not firmware TPM).

A bus interposer can reset a TPM and replay PCR’s as the chip returns to its initial state, which resets them. To mitigate this, kernel creates HMAC session for each TPM transaction and derives session key from the so.called null hierarchy, which essentially provides a new random seed per TPM reset.

Therefore, interposer’s ability to reset TPM decreases because kernel will not be able to communicate with the TPM and that way indirectly a malicious act can be detected by far better chances than ever before.

IMHO, this fits quite nicely to the stuff that #OpenSUSE and #Ubuntu have been working on lately.

Hope everyone noted that I used words "mitigate" and "decrease", not e.g. "address" or "protect from" :-) Security is (and always has been) all about making breaking in expensive and visible enough to the level that the price is too high than the value of the asset protected. It is not that much different from physical world where you decide which sort of locks, doors etc. your house needs so that no one wants to rob your property.