The physical components of an IT system.

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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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1answer
245 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 ...
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685 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 ...
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3answers
766 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 ...
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898 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 ...
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3answers
208 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 ...
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1answer
179 views

Building's server room is unlocked: What danger is my building in?

In one of the building 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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1answer
290 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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490 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 ...
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Free/Libre software to handle TCG OPAL 2.0-compliant Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs)?

I'm in search of a free/libre software that is able to handle OPAL (2.0)-compliant SEDs (i.e. manage the setting of Pre-Boot Authentification (PBA) environment, encryption keys...). It could be a ...
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7answers
326 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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440 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 ...
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921 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 ...
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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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94 views

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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1answer
133 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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688 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 ...
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382 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 ...
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1answer
209 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 ...
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2answers
173 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 ...
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1answer
799 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 ...
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1answer
201 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 ...
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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 ...
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739 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 ...
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187 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 ...
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221 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, ...
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364 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
434 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 ...
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4answers
566 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 ...
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3answers
157 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
244 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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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1answer
478 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 ...
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542 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 ...
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830 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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364 views

Malware via power outlet

This is perhaps a very dumb question, but as I have no knowledge nor experience of IT security I have no option but to ask here. Is it possible to get malware onto your computer or smartphone by ...
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2answers
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How secure is WD MyPassport lock

I have a WD My Passport hard drive. There is an option that allows you to lock your hard drive with a password. How secure is this lock? They don't give details about the encryption algorith or the ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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Is this a security risk for us to lost TPM or others to access to reset BIOS ?

In the previous post Physically secure the system case it is recommended to physically protect the system. But in case stolen laptops where intruder have physical access to TPMs. What are the security ...
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2answers
131 views

Does a flatbed scanner remember any of its previous scans?

I'm about to get rid of an older scanner and I want to make sure that no one is able to acquire any sensitive information that was scanned previously with the machine. I assume it does have some kind ...
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2answers
339 views

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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1answer
180 views

Equipment required for sniffing data / address buses via EM emission

What kind of equipment would be required to sniff data from the electromagnetic emissions of data / address buses on an average motherboard? I'd imagine a sensitive hall probe, a faraday cage and ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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Are there implementations of password hashing algorithms for major frameworks that utilizes specialized hardware like GPUs/FPGAs?

It is common knowledge that password cracking attempts can greatly benefit from specialized hardware such as large clusters of GPUs or FPGAs. Are there any implementations of the commonly recommended ...