Is this something we (as consumers of FreeBSD) need to be aware of?

Damien Fleuriot ml at my.gd
Thu Jun 7 08:38:15 UTC 2012


On 6/6/12 9:43 PM, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> 
> 
> On Wed, 6 Jun 2012, Damien Fleuriot wrote:
> 
>>
>>
>> On 6/6/12 6:45 PM, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, 6 Jun 2012, Julian H. Stacey wrote:
>>>
>>>>> I do wonder about that. What incentive does the possesor of a signing
>>>>> key
>>>>> have to keep it secret?
>>>>
>>>> Contract penalty clause maybe ? Lawyers ?
>>>
>>> A limited-liability company with no assets is judgement-proof.
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Otherwise one of us would purchase a key for $99, & then publish
>>>> the key so we could all forever more compile & boot our own kernels.
>>>> But that would presumably break the trap Microsoft & Verisign seek
>>>> to impose.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Could it really be that simple? As for hardware vendors putting revoked
>>> keys in the ROM - are they really THAT cooperative? Seems like they
>>> would drag their feet on ROM updates if they had to add a lot of stuff
>>> that won't help them, so that doesn't seem like a great enforcement
>>> tool.
>>>
>>> dan feenberg
>>
>>
>> Oh god...
>>
>> Please realize that once the key is divulged, it gets revoked at the
>> BIOS' next update.
> 
> But my point is that MS doesn't issue the updates, they have to ask the
> BIOS vendors to do so, and then the MB vendors have to take the update,
> and then the users have to install the update. The incentive at each
> level is generally very small. It does create some confusion, but is
> hardly an enforcement mechanism. It would disable older versions of
> FreeBSD on newer hardware, but not much else.
> 
> A previous poster has pointed out that MS can't revoke a certificate
> belonging to RH, but I suppose the could ask the BIOS vendors to treat
> it as revoked. I don't know what the response would be.
> 
> Daniel Feenberg
> 

That is indeed the case.


This is akin to, for example, Sony's race against Homebrewers on the
good ol' PSP.

When hackers found a hardware flaw that enabled them to install custom
firmware, Sony had to release new versions of the consoles with fixed
hardware.

The old ones were still exploitable but the new ones weren't.


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