The physical components of an IT system.

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Sourcing hardware that is least likely to contain backdoors

I understand that CPU silicon (for example) is scrutinized for backdoors but there are other aspects of a computer system that may "leak data" to the outside world unbeknownst to the owner regardless ...
6
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4answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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3answers
165 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

How to destroy old credit card?

What is the best (in terms of security) way to destroy old (but still working) credit card?
6
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3answers
4k views

Recover the prior contents of RAM from a turned-off PC?

I've heard that if your PC is turned off, then an attacker can recover the RAM from the last session. I find this hard to believe. How could it be done?
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
357 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
728 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
847 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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3answers
393 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
251 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
354 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 ...
6
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2answers
582 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
227 views

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 ...
5
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5answers
855 views

Are there any hardware HSMs that can host/run custom applications using the HSM processor(s) within the hardened security boundary?

It seems that the majority of commercially available hardware HSMs are only designed to allow authenticated users to generate, store, and use cryptographic keys with various cryptographic algorithms ...
5
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7answers
678 views

Strategies against jamming attacks?

We have some devices which are designed to use standard frequencies/protocols, such as GSM, CDMA, GPS, Wifi and Bluetooth, among others. While our focus is not thought to be used for high-profile ...
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5answers
541 views

Can hardware firewalls be infected?

If a computer is directly connected to the internet, it is vulnerable to attacks. So we attach a hardware firewall between the computer and the internet. But doesn't this new setup mean that now our ...
5
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3answers
313 views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
737 views

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 ...
5
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4answers
450 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
186 views

What can be done to bridge the Air Gap, except autorun?

What can be done to bridge the Air Gap, except autorun? Is there any hardware butterflies that can attack physically isolated Unix/Linux machine in common usb drives, like VSC (Vendor Specific ...
5
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2answers
4k views

Tool or Process to check for AES-NI support on processor?

In another question: How to choose a stream cipher, Thomas' answer mentioned the AES-NI instruction set, which piqued my curiousity. Is there a tool or process available out there to check whether ...
5
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3answers
979 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
218 views

What aspects of hardware configuration are significant from a security perspective?

What is worth keeping in mind (security-wise) when choosing a set of hardware? For example, might a cheap (or obscure) setup like a Raspberry Pi make for a less secure server than a more standard ...
5
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2answers
411 views

Dangerous hardware ports?

Using Passware Forensic Toolkit you can extract the bitlocker key using live memory dumping through Firewire (either by using an existing Firewire port, or by inserting an pcmcia/expresscard ...
5
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1answer
305 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
233 views

What particular devices and processes are available to destroy hard drives, per DoD 5220.22-M?

DoD 5220.22-M specifies the following methods for destruction of hard drives with classified data: Disintegrate Incinerate Pulverize Shred Melt I've seen shredders of the type that might be used ...
5
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
74 views

Hardware-based full disk encryption without pre-boot authentication [closed]

I am looking for a possibility to sanitize large amounts of data on regular hard-drives and SSDs. Instead of overwriting the data several times (on regular hard-drives, which could take days and ...
4
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4answers
866 views

Would you go with SSD or Disk Hard Drive?

I haven't really heard anything on how the Soild State Drives are doing out in the real world and I was wondering if they are better than traditional hard drives. Is a SSD more secure or less secure ...
4
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4answers
230 views

How do we know if the hard disk we just bought is “clean”?

When we buy a new hard disk drive, what steps can we take to ensure that it is virus-free? For example, there are many vendors selling hard disk drives on Amazon. When we purchase one, how do we know ...
4
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2answers
246 views

Hardware Level Write Protection for a CD-R

Let's say you burn a CD-R and it is finalized. Later, if you put it into a CD drive with some OS running, is it possible for the OS to write to it ? Obviously, this shouldn't typically happen, ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Does a commercially available self destructing HDD (set in BIOS) exist?

Does a self destructing HDD (physically destruction) that will destroy after a certain time exist, or when I use some software to initiate its self-destruction? I guess it need to be set in BIOS or ...
4
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2answers
418 views

Are there volatile memory chips which dont retain data after power off?

It was demonstrated that dram modules can retain information up to 10 min after power off in certain conditions. My question - are there memory types which will retain data 10 sec at max even if being ...
4
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3answers
595 views

What are the security implications of a device like Coin?

Coin is a new device aimed at replacing up to 8 credit cards in your wallet with a single device. It apparently works by scanning the credit card data into a mobile application that syncs with the ...
4
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4answers
844 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
177 views

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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5answers
656 views

Securing the hardware of my computer against remote exploits

How can I secure the BIOS, video card, network card, PCI, etc. of the computer against remote exploit? I have heard that it is possible to remotely exploit a computer using vulnerabilities in these ...
4
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3answers
2k views

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/ ...
4
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1answer
164 views

How safe are CD's for Air Gapped computers?

It is often suggested, for air-gapped PC's, to use CD/DVD's as a transfer medium between machines instead of USB sticks or portable hard-drives as it is difficult to write data to a CD/DVD without the ...
4
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1answer
150 views

Why are countermeasures against control-flow hijacking attacks mostly implemented in software?

I wonder why countermeasures against code-injection and control-flow hijacking attacks (e.g. stack-based buffer overflows and heap-based buffer overflows) are mostly implemented in software. Examples ...
4
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1answer
516 views

Write-protection at hardware level for security

It seems to me that to maximise server security, one ought - in addition to the usual security measures implemented in software - to prevent the overwriting of certain parts of the server system, such ...
4
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1answer
627 views

How does UEFI Secure Boot prevent “evil twin” spoofing attacks?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot. It is designed to prevent malware from infecting the boot process and overwriting the bootloader. It has hardware-level protections to ensure that only a ...
4
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2answers
809 views

How is hibernation supported, on machines with UEFI Secure Boot?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot, which attempts to prevent "bootkits" by locking down the boot process so that only signed bootloaders and kernels can be loaded. Hibernation seems like a ...
4
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1answer
253 views

HeartBleed and Closed Source Hardware like Cisco

With the release of heartbleed how does one protect themselves with closed source networking hardware like cisco? Especially hardware with VPN variety. Would it be best to replaced such systems with ...
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0answers
1k views

OPAL Hardware Encryption on Linux [closed]

I recently bought a laptop with an SSD which complies with the Self encrypting Drive OPAL specification. I was offerd to setup encryption while installing Linux, but my guess was that this was going ...
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5answers
1k views

Is it ok to cut some digits from the front-face of a credit/debit card?

I'm a European expat living in Asia. I usually hide my credit card at my apartment. However, I'm a bit scared about losing it when I carry it (wallet robbed or lost). That's why I already scrubbed ...