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e-book Trusted Platform Module Basics: Using TPM in Embedded Systems (Embedded Technology)

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This allows the TPM to offer a pre-boot system integrity check as a powerful data protection tool. By storing data encryption keys in the TPM along with a reference to a specific system state, data can be effectively sealed. The keys are only unsealed and released once the state of the system is validated against the stored configuration values, ensuring that systems can only be accessed if specific hardware or software conditions are met.


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Encryption key storage by TPM also enables these modules to authenticate devices rather than users. This functionality can be combined with network policy enforcement points such as firewalls, switches, and routers, and wireless and virtual private networks to provide hardware-based device authentication which can provide better authentication than a software-only mechanism.

This silicon root of trust allows firmware to be scanned and monitored through a series of integrity checks that initiate from an immutable link embedded in silicon. Because the chain of trust is established from the unalterable silicon hardware itself, customers can be confident that it is secure. Our headquarters are located in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley where we are proud to design and manufacture all of our products. Scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness have solidified cloud computing as a platform Hardware-Based Root of Trust Foundation.

Enabling Advanced Enterprise and Cloud Security. Generic filters Hidden label. Hidden label. Latest posts. Read More.

Download Trusted Platform Module Basics Using Tpm In Embedded Systems Embedded Technology 2006

Get the best stories into your inbox. So with the software you can bring up on this really, really cheap board you can develop code based on this platform, and then when you productize it you can take the same code and put it on a platform that has a secure version of a TPM or put a discrete TPM on the Raspberry Pi and then work with that. Even within the home, the level of security you need in a light bulb versus a front door lock is probably different. How does Trusted Brokered IO play into the whole root of trust concept? THOM: Over the last decade or so, individual companies have been doing a more or less decent job of securing their own IP on a device in terms of making sure you cannot download their software or tamper with it, but this is an individual approach for every manufacturer.

When a discrete TPM manufacturer builds a chip, the TPM library to a large degree is just code that runs on that chip, which has its own identity.

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Yes, it is, but it does something else. So the user of the product probably needs to get some notification that says there was a software update done to your device, and the device may be better suited to run in the future because it was a worthy software update, but it also could have been an attack. If somebody managed to flash bad firmware into a TPM that voided all security, then I most certainly want to know about it.

Since TPMs have the same problem and pretty much any single-chip IoT solution has the same issue on a chip level, how do we factor code into this on the lowest level?

We are working with software manufacturers and MCU manufacturers today to build prototypes of chips like this. The main drivers behind this undertaking are Microsoft and Google because we both have the same need of being able to interface with those chips and establish identities of those chips and what firmware is running in those chips. STMicro, on the other side, is involved to build the first prototype implementation of this in hardware.

Fundamental Advantages of the MAXQ1061/MAXQ1062 Compared to Chips Based on the TPM 2.0 Standard

What this builds is a platform foundation where, if you imagine, there is some bootrom code in the MCU and that bootrom code executes every time you turn it on — there is no way to power on around it. What this code does is take an identity from a register and hash the code that is stored in the chip into [the register], so we get an identity that consists of the hardware ID and the software.

After this operation is done the hardware ID is made unavailable and then the code jumps to the actual application code that is flashed to the device. Is this a trusted piece of hardware with a trusted piece of software on it? Now, the caller can essentially establish a trusted connection, because the chip would do exactly the same thing; it would be a shared derivation.

And now we have a shared secret on both sides that can be used to communicate with that chip.

Enabling Advanced Enterprise and Cloud Security

If that chip is replaced or if the firmware is changed, the chip will no longer belong to that key, and therefore if I attack your hardware or attempt to flash something malicious into your chip, the key that I know is good that I use to talk to you no longer works for the other side. I can reestablish the connection, and I have to go through the attestation step again, but at the end of the day I have a secure channel into my piece of hardware.

Find in a library : Trusted platform module basics : using TPM in embedded systems

If I leave the policy of how these are supposed to interact with the dynamic operating system, then an attacker of the operating system can monkey in between the fuel control valve or igniter and the operating system and unhinge the policy. Now you can say that when Windows wants to talk to its igniting unit, it either uses the key it established before or it establishes a new key, and it knows that last time we talked to the manufacturer this was a good processor, this is good code enforcing the right policy, so I can go ahead and turn this on.

So we now have another trust boundary between the operating system and several hardware parts on the board. As mentioned in Sidebar 1, ARM TrustZone technology has been widely adopted in the tech industry as foundation for securing systems based on a Trusted Execution Environment. Essentially, the way TrustZone works is by adding a mode bit to the operating context of the processor that provides information on whether a given instruction is run in secure mode or non-secure mode.


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  • In its most basic form this creates the equivalent of a simple firewall, where, for example, transactions labeled with the TrustZone bit set are able to pass into specified secure areas of the chip, such as the on-chip ROM, while non-TrustZone-authorized transactions have only limited access. However, in the context of integrated SoCs with shared resources such as memory, this architecture can become quite complex, both in terms of establishing mutual trust from a software perspective, as well as in ensuring that containerized hardware blocks remain mutually secure but protected from other domains.

    That has the benefit of allowing them to minimize their risk profile, but it also turns out that sometimes this can simplify what a secure boot process looks like. Then the device manufacturer can add more capabilities and define them as AllJoyn procedures or signals that are communicated through the encrypted channel that is established with the device key.

    Then we can connect this thing to a Windows computer or Linux computer over any serial link and the operating system can just plug this into the AllJoyn root, and any application in the vicinity or on the local machine can interact with this trusted device.