[Freedombox-discuss] Security Services

Jack Wilborn jkwilborn at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 14:28:30 UTC 2012

Hello all,

New to this, hope this goes to the correct place...

I worked for a financial institution a number of years ago where we faced
similar problems with data security.  What I seem to notice is there is no
specific direction of what you want to secure.  I've seen it go around the
file system, stolen boxs and to USB keys, where they are on the machine or
someone has to put them is doesn't seem workable.  Has it been set as to
what level we are trying to protect?  I.E. is the file system, in tact in
the system or do we worry about the removal of the system disk, by
perpetrators?  Are you just trying to stop a thief getting to the stuff via
a reboot and then the normal brute force tactic to break in?  I seem to get
the hint that you want to encrypt everything you can.  How fast is the
crypto mechanism in the ARM processor?

Have you thought about the public key being kept by another system and
required when booting.  This key doesn't have to be labeled as 'public',
but kept and used as normal security keys are kept.  This makes the key,
required when booting but not available unless the connection to another
machine is made properly.  Another shot is boot to a certain point and wait
until you authenticate another user and that user is also authenticated,
before standard use returns.  Also, the number of attempts to get in is
also notification of an attempt to breach the system security.

If I remember correctly, we authenticated a machine connection, but stopped
short of bringing it up until a known user was authenticated.  There is a
time delay when the first user logs in, but it's minimal.  Another
difference is that we didn't have to worry about someone taking the
hardware, ours was in a facility that was always locked down.  But the
communications lines were vulnerable, so the machine was in a state of
recovery for a number of minutes.

The only real difference is how far do you want to boot before security
comes into scope?  Maybe just enough to get a connection, then
authenticate, load or fail.

Please, if I'm totally off, let me know and I won't bug you about it.  I
was only responsible for a few trillion dollars that could disappear in a
few minutes....
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