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Questions tagged [hardware]

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

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EEPROM with HDD calibration data

I understand that in a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) there is EEPROM which stores calibration data. This is not directly accessible by any ring-3 (usermode) or ring-0 (kernel mode) programs. I was curious as ...
4 votes
1 answer
934 views

Is there a safe way to use external display with USB Type-C laptops?

Somewhat related to Is malware or screen capture possible with iMac as external display?, where we investigate the possibility of a DMA attack through DisplayPort, nowadays, many machines don't even ...
1 vote
2 answers
334 views

iCloud deletion

If I delete photos which are stored in iCloud from my phone. (Which is also linked to my iPad) I know the data is then made ‘free space’ but is still on the phone In some format. If I delete it from ...
15 votes
7 answers
4k views

Choosing laptop brand for company

Recently we have been wondering whether it makes a difference (from a security and privacy perspective) what brand laptops should be used in our company. I have heard wild stories about backdoors ...
0 votes
1 answer
171 views

Understanding the Secure Multi-party circuit for Stable Matching

I am reading the following paper: MPCircuits: Optimized Circuit Generation for Secure Multi-Party Computation I have the following questions: Why Preference of group1 starts from L_0 where as ...
1 vote
3 answers
148 views

Does emulation/software virtualization provide more isolation/security vs hardware virtualization?

From my understanding: I can emulate many different architectures and systems with qemu as a user(mode) process. There is separate user address space per process. If a malicious process were to ...
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

Reliably destroy all information on magnetic disk through digital medium

In a scenario where a person wants to give away their device (magnetic disk included), leaving the disk usable for the receiver, how might that person go about destroying ALL data (except firmware) on ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Can a computer peripheral (keyboard) be more sophisticated than meets the eye and steal data? [duplicate]

There are lots of mechanical keyboards out on the market now. When you buy one from a known name it's likely there's nothing nefarious going on. But no name peripherals have flooded the market. Cheap ...
0 votes
2 answers
155 views

How does a validity check on a stylus-made signature compare to a validity check for a pen-made signature

In the old days, when signatures were used to sign cheques, there were people specialized in how to determine whether a signature came from a particular person or from a different person (forger). ...
11 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
89 views

How is the authenticity and integrity of the various chips inside laptops and mobile phones ensured by their vendors?

Modern laptops and mobile phone platforms are built around a main, beefy SoC, which generally supports Secure Boot for its firmware and also has a unique hardware identity that is used to attest to a ...
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

Minimizing trust assumptions in Messaging Protocols

As I was listening to an interview yesterday, the journalist claimed that his Signal communications were being spied on by the NSA. Whether to believe him or not is subjective. Still, it is an ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any observed Rowhammer attacks in the wild

Due to the latest news regarding Rowhammer and its applicability to ECC DRAM, I was wondering whether there are any Rowhammer attacks spotted in the wild. Given the various approaches to conduct a ...
1 vote
2 answers
142 views

Is hardware linked between different operating systems installed in same computer?

I know the safest bet If I want to remain anonymous is having 2 separate computers, but I was curious if having 2 OS in different hard drives (both encrypted) but on same computer the same? Is the ...
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to detect malware on an HDD from scratch

I am wondering how to detect a virus or malware or anything that exists on an HDD (I am thinking of external hard drives). Doing a quick search led to these which aren't quite related: Virus checking ...
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

How can we verify the security of a device? [duplicate]

I've recently been experiencing a situation as follows: How can I understand the IO of an unknown device? Say, for example, I am gifted a bluetooth speaker. How can I understand its potential for ...
2 votes
2 answers
115 views

Standards for Secure Products

I am interested in standardizations for secure design and development of products, especially towards operational technology / IoT / ICS. My understanding of information security management systems ...
0 votes
0 answers
473 views

Bitlocker TPM + PIN vs password without TPM [duplicate]

I keep reading how it's best to use Bitlocker's full disk encryption with a TPM + PIN instead of just a passphrase twithout a TPM but I've been wondering why. Assuming that a very strong password is ...
2 votes
0 answers
217 views

Why are Yubico Yubikeys limited to 32 OATH accounts? [closed]

Is the 32 OATH QR code account limit on Yubikeys due to a storage constraint? Because the Yubikey 5 series has been out for a few years now it'd be amazing if there is a new version released soon with ...
0 votes
1 answer
214 views

Simple setups for side-channel analysis

I'd like to test cryptographic implementations in FPGA against power analysis. Not being all that handy with hardware and such, I'm looking for an easy solution. What I've come across thus far: ...
10 votes
2 answers
9k views

What comprises the AIS-31 standard for TRNGs?

I'm researching how my smart card's chipset generates random numbers. According to a source in forums the YubiKey NEO is based on the A700x chipset from NXP. The page for the chipset indicates that ...
1 vote
1 answer
622 views

Are wedge attacks on EMV cards still viable?

I was looking around to see if wedge attacks on EMV cards are still viable or a solution has been implemented, and if so, have attackers found another way around the solution? The latest literature or ...
1 vote
1 answer
245 views

Can mobile hardware have backdoor access to camera, microphone that bypasses operating system?

I found out about AOSP variants such as Calyx, Graphene, etc. They promise increased security. I want to know if hardware backdoors can allow access to the camera, microphone, etc. and subsequently ...
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Cases where DBAN has won

Are there any real life cases where software such as DBAN (to securely erase disks) has beaten government/law enforcement agencies? I found this online which lists each time encryption has beaten ...
1 vote
1 answer
175 views

Which algorithm does CryptGenRandom use on my laptop?

I have an Ideapad Gaming laptop by Lenovo, with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-10300H processor. On this laptop I have Windows 10 installed. To generate random numbers, I use the CryptGenRandom function. ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Electromagnetic induction attacks - reverse TEMPEST?

I know that electromagnetic emissions from a device can be used to extract information from a system, e.g. TEMPEST or Van Eck phreaking. I also know it's possible to induce a signal into a ...
24 votes
3 answers
35k views

How practical is a laser microphone and how to protect against it?

A laser microphone is a "surveillance device that uses a laser beam to detect sound vibrations in a distant object". - Wikipedia. It's also known as a Laser Based Listening System (LBLS). Firstly, ...
1 vote
1 answer
313 views

Will it ever be possible to functionally get the encrypted data off of an iphone in recovery mode?

Apparently the data encrypts until the passcode is entered, but my phone (close to 3,500 recordings of my original music) won't boot up. I dropped it and it went into a boot loop then went into ...
0 votes
0 answers
224 views

Is there any risk to having 2 devices simultaneously connected to the same display?

I have two devices. One of them is my personal desktop machine, and the other one is my work laptop which I do not own and have very little control over. With the security of the sector I work in, I ...
0 votes
1 answer
269 views

SD card with the read only switch, can the SD card reader still get viruses?

Due to security reasons, I need an USB that has the switch to set it physically read only, because in this way I can be 100 % sure that it can't get infected when I connect it to an infected device. I ...
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is a responsible disclosure for hardware-based vulnerabilities even possible?

In the last decade side-channel attacks like fault injection attacks (e.g., voltage glitching attacks) have been used to bypass JTAG locks or read-out memory protections. Such vulnerabilities might ...
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

NVMe Self Encrypting Drive - How to use ATA Security?

I own a Samsung 980 Pro which, according to its own specification, supports Class 0, TCG/Opal 2.0 and IEEE16667. Since it's an NVMe drive, I cannot use hdparm in order to set up class 0 encryption but ...
0 votes
0 answers
236 views

Security by using USB NIC, USB to SATA adapter, etc

After reading libreboot FAQ i have some questions about USB 2.0 bus. There it is strongly recommended to use usb devices - USB network card and USB to SATA adapter (to connect HDD or SSD with it). The ...
0 votes
0 answers
674 views

Remotely disable a laptop's ability to power on or charge?

If I loan out laptops to my employees to work remotely, such as Dr's, Nurses and other healthcare workers that generate sensitive information on patients, how can I remotely disable the laptop's ...
0 votes
0 answers
108 views

How exactly are hidraw 'Billboard' devices interrogated?

I have some USBHub ( Ethernet + HDMI + USB + VGA). When it doesn't have anything connected it exposes to Linux operating system device: 'hiddev0, hidraw1' in opposite to HID mouse: which is visible as ...
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

Open-Source Hardware Security Modules (HSM)

Are there any Open-Source Hardware Security Modules (meeting OSHWA requirements)? I've worked with Utimaco HSMs, but I'm not a big fan of closed-source hardware -- especially when it comes to security ...
1 vote
1 answer
249 views

Rowhammer mitigations in current hardware and software

I've been looking into rowhammer attacks and mitigations and there are two (what seem to be) mitigations that I've seen that are actually implemented in currently available hardware and software, but ...
3 votes
2 answers
439 views

Server protection measures from authorities

I am on a project which is illegal in my nation but is not illegal anywhere in the world. In order not to get a 100yr sentence I should be prepared for seizures and forensics. I am running a server ...
1 vote
4 answers
679 views

What exactly is endpoint security?

Would someone explain what endpoint security is, exactly? What do companies like McAfee and Symantec sell with their endpoint security suites? I also would like to learn if endpoint security ...
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Hardware-backed Keychain for iOS and Android

I'm researching on hardware-backed keychain for iOS and Android, in order to store some certificates in hardware rather than software. According to Android docs (https://source.android.com/security/...
0 votes
3 answers
290 views

Can the microsoft basic optical mouse be modified to contain spyware or a keylogger if the attacker had physical access to the mouse? [duplicate]

I was given a mouse by someone who now i realized would want to hack me. It is the Microsoft basic optical mouse v2.0. Can this mouse be modified to inject spyware and malware onto my laptop?
4 votes
1 answer
488 views

Are IDE DMA attacks possible and is it possible to prevent them purely with software means without any IOMMU or other special hardware

I mean if it possible to safely plug a PCMCIA card into a PC without IOMMU? Such computers are very widespread, every digital TV or receiver has a CI+ slot, which is PCMCIA, and people insert there ...
1 vote
1 answer
206 views

How can USB ports be dangerous? [duplicate]

I hear all this vague information about how USB ports are dangerous, because people can just stick in a stick with malware on it and Windows just happily runs it automatically, or something. It's so ...
18 votes
7 answers
31k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

Secondary disk safe to use after potential virus?

I've recently bought a new disk and made a fresh install on a home PC after having potential malware (or a very corrupted registry, whatever your take is on having numerous Blue Screens of Death, one ...
8 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
116 views

Hardware TOTP system-on-chip with strongly guarded seed

I am looking for hardware TOTP system-on-chip, where it would not be possible for an adversary to extract the shared secret (TOTP seed in other words). I am researching an application, where one same ...
0 votes
0 answers
187 views

Self-encrypting drive - eDrive vs ATA Security

Let's for a moment forget about the possible drawbacks of SEDs themselves. One of the upsides of SEDs is that the encryption key never leaves the drive but wouldn't using eDrive negate this advantage ...
0 votes
0 answers
80 views

Making time(0) produce an error

I'm currently reviewing/reversing a software (coded in C) and it has a line like this : time_t var = time(0); My goal it to get this time(0) call to return -1. (I cannot modify the parameter.) ...
0 votes
0 answers
386 views

Is there spy hardware that can be attached to laptops and if so how to detect them?

A while back I lived in shared apartments. One day I returned to my room and found my laptop screen frame open. Since then I keep get log in attempts to my accounts. I scanned my laptop with multiple ...

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