The physical components of an Information Technology system. It can consist of network equipment, servers, CPUs, hardward security module, smartcards, etc. When using this tag, also include an additional tag for the specific type of hardware.

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63
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8answers
17k views

How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive?

As storage technologies change over time, using different encodings and remappings to deal with sector errors, the best way to permanently erase/wipe/shred data changes also. Methods for flash drives ...
33
votes
6answers
65k views

Can wiped SSD data be recovered?

I was reading another post on destroying IDE drives, and how you could remove data, wipe it, or just destroy the drive. The removed data would still be there in some state, although not easily ...
65
votes
5answers
38k views

How do you destroy an old hard drive?

How do you destroy an old hard drive? To be clear, unlike questions Secure hard drive disposal: How to erase confidential information and How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive? I do ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Protecting cellphones from USB attacks (a.k.a. Juice Jacking)

We have several smartphone with encrypted data on them (BES, iPhone, Android) and want to prevent an unauthorized person from downloading information from the device via USB. The visual assumption ...
20
votes
5answers
11k 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?
100
votes
8answers
20k views

What would one need to do in order to hijack a satellite?

I realise this borders on sci-fi, but there's been some interesting demonstrations regarding security of various satellites. What would be required to hack a satellite (in general terms, any hack ...
12
votes
2answers
749 views

USB to Firewire converter is a security issue?

So: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394#Security_issues FireWire has security issues. But what happens if there isn't any FireWire ports on the given machine, and ex.: the Operating system ...
8
votes
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 ...
54
votes
6answers
11k views

Can RAM retain data after removal?

Is it possible for RAM to retain any data after power is removed? I don't mean within a few minutes such as cold boot Attacks but rather 24 hours plus. Working with classified systems the policy ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Wireless keyboard sniffing risk

I've just acquired a wireless keyboard/mouse combo (Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000). Only after having plugged it in did it get me thinking. How susceptible are those kind of setups to sniffing? Are ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How can the impact of cold boot attacks be minimized?

Short of powering down and maintaining physical security for sufficient time, what are effective strategies for keeping keys from being disclosed by cold-boot attacks, and can anything be done without ...
8
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
364 views

What use does a BIOS/EFI password have?

I have become quite a password-obsessed individual. I password-protect my HDDs, my files, and now even the BIOS/EFI on the various systems I own. But I have discovered that if you forget your BIOS ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Tamper-proof BIOS password & settings storage with Trusted Platform Module?

In the olden days, one could trivially bypass BIOS passwords on most PCs by removing the BIOS battery and clearing the CMOS. My question is: On modern PCs equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Best method of retiring hard drives [duplicate]

What are some typical ways you guys retire hard drives? We have a hard drive that won't mount anymore (makes clicking sounds when it tries to mount). The data on it isn't necessarily sensitive (no ...
11
votes
3answers
587 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is hardware based disk encryption more secure that software based?

As a spin-off of my question on "Advice on buying an encrypted disk" -- and in an effort to address the question "how is hardware based disk encryption better?" -- I've started a new question. My ...
9
votes
2answers
710 views

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 ...
32
votes
6answers
20k views

How reliable is a write protection switch on a USB flash drive?

I'm currently using a USB flash drive with a live distribution. At times I would plug it into terminals I cannot trust. My threat model here is solely the risk of unauthorized modifications to the ...
26
votes
6answers
17k views

Can a hard drive be destroyed by drowning?

These are some ways of disposing of hard drives: Special firms, degaussing, hammering, pulling apart. Can this be accomplished more quickly by drowning it? Fill a bucket with water, maybe add some ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
446 views

How do you know a computer is not compromised when you first get it?

How do you know a computer is not compromised when you first get it? How do you know that manufacturers have not intentionally built vulnerabilities into the system?
9
votes
4answers
204 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can malware physically damage a hard drive?

I recently responded to an incident of supposed malware infection. The symptoms were simply, "My computer freezes at random times." The response ended with replacement of the physical hard drive and ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Does microwaving a hard drive erase it?

Kind of a silly question, but I'm genuinely curious: (in part because I recently saw several questions that refer to "nuking" a hard drive...) what would a microwave DO to an HDD? Would it erase data ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

EMV Security? How is it possible that it's secure?

I recently read some articles on EMV and the various ways in which it has been improved over the years. I then read this which shows that it has been possible for some time to exploit EMV via a man ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

What can manufactures of hardware do to prevent attacks on the firmware?

Given the revelations since The Equation Group was discovered. As well as that it is possible to not guarantee removal of a rootkit even with a nuke from high orbit. What properties of a harddrive ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What method of secure erase is sufficient for MacBook Pro SSD Drives? [duplicate]

I would like to securely erase the hard drive of a SSD in a MacBook Pro. The Disk Utility does not give me the option to wipe this drive even when I boot into the System Partition. (it is greyed out)...
-1
votes
1answer
575 views

Completely disabling microphone [duplicate]

Maybe not 100% on topic for this site but it seemed like a good place to ask. All laptops are now sold with webcams and microphones and I have use for neither. Taking care of the webcam is easy; ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
537 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

How to prepare a used computer to handle sensitive information

After buying a used computer from a stranger, what steps should be taken to ensure it is safe to use for connecting to a network that handles sensitive information? (I am defining "sensitive" broadly: ...
33
votes
7answers
5k views

Is it possible to secretly monitor/backdoor hardware?

I've recently gained an interest in anonymity and the technical aspects of it. Is it possible for hardware to be bugged and monitored? I.e, can a seller of a processor bug it in order to report what ...
25
votes
5answers
38k views

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
10k views

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 ...
29
votes
12answers
4k views

Is there a secure way to transfer data outside the Internet?

Since, recently, it has been proven that transferring data through the usb port is fundamentally flawed, I'm wondering if there are 100% secure ways to transfer data without using the Internet. ...
12
votes
2answers
855 views

Is OpenGL a security problem?

Today, almost all desktop and most mobile operating systems and devices support some version of OpenGL. I'm wondering about the security implications of that: In many cases, the GPU has complete and ...
10
votes
3answers
775 views

OWASP Top 10 style security guide for implementation in hardware devices

I've seen OWASP Top 10 guides for web apps, native apps, etc., but never anything for embedded systems or hardware devices. These usually involve microcontrollers (e.g. Atmega / PIC) or small ...
11
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Checking if notebook is clean of hardware spyware

Are there any simple steps one can follow to verify if a notebook is clean from hardware spyware? What should be looked for? How should it look? If any visual tutorials with photographs are ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the benefit with using encrypted RAM Memory?

I sometimes hear that encryption is used for the RAM Memory, but I don't really understand why this is needed. Why is RAM Memory needed to be encrypted? and is this done by the hardware, the ...
4
votes
4answers
628 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

HSM track records?

What are the track records of popular Hardware Security Modules (HSMs)? Have any been found vulnerable to hacking via creative use of the API, timing or power-monitoring attacks, etc?
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Possible to prevent Juice Jacking by only connecting USB pins 1 & 4?

According to this accepted answer, there is no phone on the market today that is immune from "Juice Jacking"*. I think an easy way to mitigate this threat is to have a filter that blocks USB pins 2 &...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
560 views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How to destroy old credit card?

What is the best (in terms of security) way to destroy old (but still working) credit card?
7
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
879 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 ...