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Wakum Mata!
Politcally Incorrect Musings
Windows Vista to have a backdoor? 
15th-Feb-2006 09:48 am
southpark
From this article comes:

Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.

He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions.

The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.



This is a typical problem with closed source software. You have no idea what their security model is.


The system uses BitLocker Drive Encryption through a chip called TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in the computer's motherboard.

It is partly aimed at preventing people from downloading unlicensed films or media.

"This means that by default your hard disk is encrypted by using a key that you cannot physically get at...


Which means that my harddrive is now encryted by a method I did not choose and using a key I did not generate nor know what it is.


On its Windows Vista website, Microsoft says Bitlocker Drive Encryption "provides considerable off-line data and operating system protection for your computer".

"BitLocker ensures that data stored on a computer running Windows Vista is not revealed if the machine is tampered with when the installed operating system is offline," it says.



The TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is a hardware device on your motherboard used for cryptographic key generation and storage. From this statement, if you have Windows Vista already installed, you might not be able to install alternate operating systems (Linux, BSD, etc., even though some Linux distros do have a TPM stack) nor even REINSTALL Windows Vista when you get hit by that next virus. You don't have the crypto key and your motherboard has a hardware lock that may prevent you from using the hardware you purchased in a manner of your choosing. I base this on the statement " Access to data and secrets in a platform could be denied if the boot sequence is not as expected." [From the Trusted Computing Group FAQ.]

When does the computer I bought become mine?

Does anyone out there still think Digital Rights Management is still a good idea? This whole problem was brought about by Microsoft's arrogance and denial that their lack of secure software model is the main problem. This is Microsoft forcing the industry to apply a bandaid to their OS. In the end, it will not make Windows more secure. It gives them even more opportunity to be lax in their software design.
Comments 
22nd-Feb-2006 05:56 pm (UTC) - Digital Rights Management
Anonymous coward
This is a nightmare for geeks who fix computers everywhere. Sounds to me like Windows is shooting itself in the foot. All you need is a good virus to fuck that hard drive, and blammo, the world is at it's feet.

Wow. I really hope that this Windows Vista TPM doesn't get it's ugly beasty head above the water.

Lena
22nd-Feb-2006 06:11 pm (UTC) - Re: Digital Rights Management
I promise you, TPM will be hacked. Eventually.
22nd-Feb-2006 06:21 pm (UTC) - Re: Digital Rights Management
I mean the hardware and its software API. The SHA-1 hash algorithm has already been cracked.
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