The physical components of an IT system.

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How to trust ICs?

While it is theoretically possible to thoroughly examine the source code of Open Source Software to check for backdoors (neglecting a Ken Thompson hack), and given sufficiently adequate knowledge in ...
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How to circumvent compromised CPUs in major FOSS operating systems

As Matthew Green puts it, "the NSA has been ... Working with hardware ... vendors to weaken encryption and random number generators." At this stage, however, there is little public knowledge of which ...
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How to disable Firewire in OpenBSD/Linux to prevent attacks through Firewire?

Since Firewire lacks security, allowing a plugged-in device to access host memory, it's a good thing to fully disable it. If we're not using the BIOS to disable the Firewire port then how could we do ...
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What are the differences between TPM and HSM?

TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and HSM (Hardware Security Module) are considered as cryptoprocessor, but what are the differences exactly? Does one of them have more advantages than another?
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How to implement secure device identification in a for-pay wifi router to prevent usage fraud?

After reading this question about how for-pay wifi routers identify specific devices it got me thinking about what a secure alternative might be. I know that certain research has focused on ...
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Do I need to use the cipher command with a newer SSD to erase files?

I've used Eraser in the past, and recently became aware of the cipher command in Windows 8. Specifically, with the /w flag: /w removes data from portions of the volume it can access and have not ...
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Best practices for physically securing a notebook

If the user knows that other people will repeatedly have physical access to her notebook - running Linux - while she is absent, and that there is no way around this, what are best practices for ...
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SSD (Flash Memory) security when data is encrypted in place

I'm surveying current techniques on flash memory security. I've learned that the non-in-place update of flash memories prevent us from adapting the same encryption techniques that we used on hard ...
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How to track a laptop after theft?

Our company had a break-in this evening and a laptop was stolen. The data on the laptop was not super-sensitive (luckily); however, we would like to be able to track the laptop if at all possible. ...
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170 views

Magnet to wipe HDD [duplicate]

This question is for HDD, not SDD. Would a Neodymium magnet like this one be strong enough to wipe the contents of a hard disk drive? How long would such an act take to destroy any data so it's not ...
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Building's server room is unlocked: What danger is my building in?

In one of the buildings I work in, there are lawyers and accountants, web developers and marketers, and numerous other small businesses. Everyone's (shared) internet is routed through the same server ...
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Cons of disabling live CD in bios

It has been suggested that for security reasons it's a good idea to change the boot order to prevent booting from a live CD or USB. But if you lose the passwords to unlock hard drive and bios, and you ...
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Keyboard sniffing through audio recorded typing patterns

I've been thinking about this for a while; I know people are aware of wireless wiretapping of keyboards. However, has there been research on how to wiretap keyboards based on typing patterns? I'm ...
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What benefits do Hardware Security Modules provide when keys are not stored inside them?

I'm researching a project that makes use of cryptography. It is a .net application with keys stored in a sql server database. For cryptography, the project uses a Hardware Security Module similar to ...
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Can a webcam be turned on when disabled in Windows' device manager?

In addition to whether a webcam can be turned on without the indicator light, I was wondering if disabling the device in Windows' device manager is a good option. Of course when your system is ...
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Is it possible to make one processor look like another?

(aka) Is it possible to hack CPUID instruction or BIOS to make it show wrong CPU information? Yesterday, I was having a chat with computer sales guy. He is little close to me. During the conversation ...
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How to destroy old credit card?

What is the best (in terms of security) way to destroy old (but still working) credit card?
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An OS that does not trust its RAM?

I wonder if it is possible to write a kernel that would keep all of its RAM encrypted, storing the key in the CPU cache, so that the machine would be resistant to cold-boot attacks?
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Do cell-phones exist with open source baseband processors?

In a recent question (can't seem to find now), someone asked: Is it possible to track a phone which is off? and received a response of Who's to say that it's really off? Your phone has both ...
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Out-of-the-box Network Intrusion Appliance for non-Power User

First, let me apologize if any of this question is naive or beneath the scope of this board. Bear in mind the context and that I'm asking as an attempt to exhaust all resources. Also, I understand if ...
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Software security V.S Hardware security

In theory, perfect software applications are possible but in real life, they don't exist. When attackers know the software, they can send payloads to exploit vulnerabilities and run any arbitrary code ...
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Have hardware trojans been seen in the wild?

Military and intelligence organizations have spent a lot of resources guarding against the possibility of hardware trojans, unauthorized modifications to hardware circuits that leak information or ...
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Do the new instruction sets found on Intel's Haswell Architecture make any difference in cryptographic operations?

Intel's Haswell architecture has support for several new Bit Manipulation Instructions. In Intel's own words, Bit manipulation instructions are useful for compressed database, hashing , large ...
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Secure hard drive disposal: How to erase confidential information

When it comes to disposing of hardware that may contain PII, confidential, or other sensitive material, how do you determine what needs special handling? What process do you use? I'd like to expand ...
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Does a working JTAG diagnostics port on Android phone add unnecessary risk?

Not enough people seem to know about JTAG outside the hacker and LEO communities but the short version is that JTAG allows anyone with physical access to your phone to chew their way right into it. ...
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Is the SD card write protection hard-wired or optional?

According to Wikipedia, the SD card reader recognizes if the little tab on the left of the SD card is in the "lock" position or not. Thus, a SD card reader can still write on the SD card even if the ...
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Possible to use a YubiKey in HSM mode to secure a Windows CA infrastructure?

I'm looking for a low-cost Hardware Security module, and discovered that YubiKey has a HSM mode. I'm not entirely clear if this HSM mode is what I'm thinking, but I'd like to use it as the offline ...
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WORM media types

Why types of media are Write Once Read Many (WORM) other than CD-R, and DVD-R, say, something in the 100GB range? Are there such devices? What would it take to read them? Are the devices like this ...
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Anonymity of sneakernet: identifiable information on removable storage

Alice, an anonymous informant, would like to transmit digital documents to Bob while maintaining her anonymity. For whatever reason, she chooses to copy the documents to some kind of physical ...
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Is it safe to attach a potentially malicious hard drive to a Solaris machine?

We bring in hard drives from un-trusted sources and would like to ensure that they will not contain any harmful content. What kind of risk is there for Solaris? As in, if Solaris is running, and I ...
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vt-d Virtualisation and Trusted Execution Technology

Being a long time VirtualBox user and having recently purchased a new laptop equipped with an intel i7 720QM I discovered that it supported vt-d. In the meantime I've found out that vt-d comes with ...
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Is there any way to write-protect a USB or hide its contents from deletion without hardware modifications?

Data on external storage devices are not secure, I understand that. Despite hardware modifications they can still be hacked etc. However files can be hidden (steganography) or encrypted. I'm ...
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What do you do to protect data on a Macbook in the event of theft/loss of the device?

What setup do you recommend to protect data on a MacBook in the event of theft/loss of the device? I'm specifically interested in Macs here, rather than laptops generally, and in concrete ...
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Can malicious code be contained outside the filesystem on a USB drive?

I've personally seen it recommended that every time a user inserts a USB thumb drive into a computer, that the thumb drive be scanned for potential malware and malicious code. However, if all that's ...
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VGA/HDMI Based Attack

Can I attack a PC via the VGA port? Is VGA one way or does it accept data from the other side? How about HDMI or DVI? And if so, are there known malware or PoCs to do that? or is it theoretically ...
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Do Flash memory (SSD) architecture impacts encryption techniques?

I'm working on encryption techniques on SSD's and my question is: does the erase before write architecture of SSD's has anything to do with the encryption technique? What are the problems I might ...
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Does any tablet support remote attestation?

Some PCs come with a TPM. One of the nifty capabilities of TPMs is the ability to perform remote attestation. Remote attestation allows your computer to tell a third computer what software your ...
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Tool or Process to check for AES-NI support on processor?

In another question, Thomas' answer mentioned the AES-NI instruction set, which piqued my curiosity. Is there a tool or process available out there to check whether the instruction set is available ...
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backdoors in hardware (ie. intel/amd cpu) possible? [closed]

There are several reports about hardware based attacks on IT-security as for instance those here: http://wccftech.com/intel-possibly-amd-chips-permanent-backdoors-planted-nsa/ ...
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Disk Erasing Security - Odd Number of Writes

As one can find in the Disk Utility/Erase/Security Options section, there are two options for erasing disks securely - zero out 7 times or zero out 35 times. Where these numbers come from?
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How does the predator network prevent outside control by an attacker?

I read several articles saying some of the command and control fleet for the US robotic attack planes may have been infected with a virus. Does this command and control system communicate with the ...
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Intel SGX and MSRs - what do developers need to know?

Intel SGX is an intriguing new technology that will ship as part of upcoming Intel processors. It is designed to enable running software in a secure enclave. Code running in the enclave will be ...
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551 views

Epson Projector security threats

I have an EPSON PROJECTOR (model EB-824H) And I would like to use it in our company. As I know (but not sure) this kind of projector has no WIFI,no network card and there is no HD in this PROJECTOR It ...
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Freshness for SGX enclaves

Future Intel processors will support SGX (Software Guard Extensions), which allows running security-critical software on your processor in a way that is isolated from all the other code. The hardware ...
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How does the encryption of FPGA works?

I know that FPGAS of Altera enables you to encrypt the RTL code while you work with it, what I can't understand is why it is really encrypted since once I have the FPGA, I can take it and with flash ...
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How does virtualisation (IaaS) protect from CPU microcode updates and firmware changes?

Is it safe to assume that it's impossible for CPU Microcode updates and firmware updates to be initiated from a guest VM? What software or hardware technologies protect my guest OS from altering or ...
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Software can be audited, is there an equivalent for hardware?

In software, code auditing can be used as a mean to gain trust into a software. Of course closed, proprietary software would complicate this, and require to do reverse engineering. Anyway there seems ...
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Realistic: Exploiting a computer on BIOS/ hardware level in less than an hour? (Infinite preparation time)

I wonder how hard it it to infect a laptop or netbook in 60 minutes or less in a way the victim cannot easily clean their machine by wiping hard disk drives. Let's assume the following: The ...
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Using smart cards for email encryption and SSH

Suppose I have a small organization, every user has a recent Macbook Pro, can buy a ~$25 smart card reader on Amazon, and I want to use keypairs where the private keys are on personal smartcards to do ...
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Is there any protection against malicious devices on a CAN bus?

CAN (controller area network) is a bus used in all modern cars. You can read a lot of the cars information over this bus and I think (but I'm not too sure about this) that some critical control ...