Difference between revisions of "Security"

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(Common security features)
(Common security features)
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* Signature verification - option to boot from payload only signed images
 
* Signature verification - option to boot from payload only signed images
 
[[Bayou]] / [[coreinfo]] / [[GRUB2]] have "BIOS password"-like feature, using SHA-1 hashes stored in NVRAM or the (flash) ROM chip.
 
[[Bayou]] / [[coreinfo]] / [[GRUB2]] have "BIOS password"-like feature, using SHA-1 hashes stored in NVRAM or the (flash) ROM chip.
GRUB2 can also do signature verification of on-disk operating systems. All such features are in the payload domain since coreboot doesn't provide a user interface.
+
GRUB2 can also do signature verification of on-disk operating systems. [[TianoCore]] could probably be adapted to support either, too.
[[TianoCore]] could probably be adapted to support either, too.
+
 
 +
Both features are in the payload domain since coreboot doesn't provide a user interface.
  
 
* RAM wiping after each boot
 
* RAM wiping after each boot
Not very useful: The most interesting time would be right before power-off, which could be implemented in [[SMM]]. Unfortunately a cautious attacker just pulls the plug.
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This is not very useful: The most interesting time would be right before power-off, which could be implemented in [[SMM]]. Unfortunately a cautious attacker just pulls the plug.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
To prevent reading data after a reboot, a payload could be adapted to clean out memory. Using applications that manage sensible data sensibly (ie. wipe after use) is still a better solution.
  
 
* Support booting from encrypted block devices/volumes
 
* Support booting from encrypted block devices/volumes

Revision as of 15:26, 4 May 2014

This page explains how coreboot can help with various security aspects of your system, compared to closed-source, legacy BIOS/EFI/firmware implementations.

This page is work in progress!

Common security features

  • Boot password (like BIOS password)
  • Signature verification - option to boot from payload only signed images

Bayou / coreinfo / GRUB2 have "BIOS password"-like feature, using SHA-1 hashes stored in NVRAM or the (flash) ROM chip. GRUB2 can also do signature verification of on-disk operating systems. TianoCore could probably be adapted to support either, too.

Both features are in the payload domain since coreboot doesn't provide a user interface.

  • RAM wiping after each boot

This is not very useful: The most interesting time would be right before power-off, which could be implemented in SMM. Unfortunately a cautious attacker just pulls the plug.


To prevent reading data after a reboot, a payload could be adapted to clean out memory. Using applications that manage sensible data sensibly (ie. wipe after use) is still a better solution.

  • Support booting from encrypted block devices/volumes

GRUB2 can do that.

Current BIOS issues

RAM wiping

SMI issues

ATA issues

Firewire issues

TPM issues