Researchers can slip an undetectable trojan into Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs. Scientists have developed a technique to sabotage the cryptographic capabilities included in Intel's Ivy Bridge line of microprocessors. The technique works without being detected by built-in tests or physical inspection of the chip. The proof of concept comes eight years after the US Department of Defense voiced concern that integrated circuits used in crucial military systems might be altered in ways that covertly undermined their security or reliability.
The report was the starting point for research into techniques for detecting so-called hardware trojans. But until now, there has been little study into just how feasible it would be to alter the design or manufacturing process of widely used chips to equip them with secret backdoors. In a recently published research paper, scientists devised two such backdoors they said adversaries could feasibly build into processors to surreptitiously bypass cryptographic protections provided by the computer running the chips. Random number generation. A random number generator (RNG) is a computational or physical device designed to generate a sequence of numbers or symbols that can not be reasonably predicted better than by a random chance. Various applications of randomness have led to the development of several different methods for generating random data, of which some existed since ancient times, including dice, coin flipping, the shuffling of playing cards, the use of yarrow stalks (by divination) in the I Ching, and many other techniques.
Because of the mechanical nature of these techniques, generating large numbers of sufficiently random numbers (important in statistics) required a lot of work and/or time. Thus, results would sometimes be collected and distributed as random number tables. Nowadays, after the advent of computational random number generators, a growing number of government-run lotteries, and lottery games, are using RNGs instead of more traditional drawing methods. Practical applications and uses
If supported, bit 30 of the ECX register is set after calling CPUID standard function 01H. AMD processors are checked for the feature using the same test. RDSEED availability can be checked on Intel CPUs in a similar manner. If RDSEED is supported, the bit 18 of the EBX register is set after calling CPUID standard function 07H. Reception See also Notes References External links True Random Numbers - RdRand.com. What is Intel® Secure Key Technology? Introduction: Intel® Secure Key, was previously code-named Bull Mountain Technology.
It is the Intel® name for the Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures instruction RDRAND and its underlying Digital Random Number Generator (DRNG) hardware implementation. Among other things, the DRNG using the RDRAND instruction is useful for generating high-quality keys for cryptographic protocols. Because this technology recently launched (May 2012) with the Intel® 3rd Generation Core™ processors (code-named Ivy Bridge) the Bull Mountain Software Implementation Guide has been renamed to the Intel® Digital Random Number Generator Software Implementation Guide.
About the Intel® DRNG Software Implementation Guide: This technology is documented and described in the Intel® Digital Random Number Generator Software Implementation Guide. Random Number Generator (RNG) Basics and Introduction to the DRNG. This Software Implementation Guide is designed to serve a variety of readers. Questions?