Erase memory on shutdown

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Mon Aug 6 02:31:05 UTC 2018

On Sun, August 5, 2018 8:52 pm, thor wrote:
> For any level of physical protection there is an adversary that could
> breach it. So the first stage of protection is physical one,

Exactly. That is what I said in my first reply in this thread. However
that part was creatively edited away by someone, that is why I personally
dislike editing away portions of other people posts. Creative editing,
BTW, can totally change what the person actually said.

Yes, it was repeated forever that security begins with physical security.
And repeating again what my friend likes to say: nothing can stop the guy
wit the screwdriver. Not quite true, but pretty close.


> the second
> is the breach detection that initiates clean shutdown. Problem is to
> erase everything on this shutdown.
> Or maybe I should start a reboot that hangs on "Enter passphrase for
> /dev/ada0p3.eli" and erases the memory in the process?
> On 08/06/18 08:10, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> Please, correct me if I am wrong in the following:
>> If the attacker yanks off the power cord, then cold boots off his media,
>> your defense/erasure of memory does not protect you against this attack.
>> Right? Your defense only helps if the attacker does clean shutdown.
>> Right?
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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