On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:58:40 +0100 (CET), Dave U. Random wrote:
> "Happy New Year" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>> On 12 Jan 2011 23:08:11 -0000, Rooster <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>has anyone here taken a look at this website:
>>>"Passware Inc., a provider of password recovery, decryption, and
>>>evidence discovery software for computer forensics, announced that
>>>the latest version of its flagship product, Passware Kit Forensic,
>>>has become the first commercially available software to break
>>>TrueCrypt hard drive encryption without applying a time-consuming
>>>brute-force attack. It was also the first product to decrypt
>> October 23, 2009
>> "Evil Maid" Attacks on Encrypted Hard Drives
>> Earlier this month, Joanna Rutkowska implemented the "evil maid" attack
>> against TrueCrypt. The same kind of attack should work against any
>> whole-disk encryption, including PGP Disk and BitLocker. Basically, the
>> attack works like this:
>> Step 1: Attacker gains access to your shut-down computer and boots it from
>> a separate volume. The attacker writes a hacked bootloader onto your
>> system, then shuts it down.
>> Step 2: You boot your computer using the attacker's hacked bootloader,
>> entering your encryption key. Once the disk is unlocked, the hacked
>> bootloader does its mischief. It might install malware to capture the key
>> and send it over the Internet somewhere, or store it in some location on
>> the disk to be retrieved later, or whatever.
>> You can see why it's called the "evil maid" attack; a likely scenario is
>> that you leave your encrypted computer in your hotel room when you go out
>> to dinner, and the maid sneaks in and installs the hacked bootloader. The
>> same maid could even sneak back the next night and erase any traces of her
>> This attack exploits the same basic vulnerability as the "Cold Boot" attack
>> from last year, and the "Stoned Boot" attack from earlier this year, and
>> there's no real defense to this sort of thing. As soon as you give up
>> physical control of your computer, all bets are off.
>> Similar hardware-based attacks were among the main reasons why
>> Symantec's CTO Mark Bregman was recently advised by "three-letter agencies
>> in the US Government" to use separate laptop and mobile device when
>> traveling to China, citing potential hardware-based compromise.
> It's difficult to protect yourself against adversaries that have
> physical access to your machine, but not impossible. The bootloader
> itself may have password protection built-in. Secondly, you could have
> a seperate program in your startup script that checks the fingerprint
> (hash) of your bootloader and reports when it sees it has been altered
> since the previous boot.
> Obviously protecting yourself against these kind of intrusions would be
> a lot easier with open-source software as the OS manufacturer
> (Microsoft!) might itself be involved in the malicous activity.
Considering Bill Gates was a hacker.
A Billion for a Billion