Intel AES-NI - Backdoor or Not?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by 151, May 16, 2014.

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  1. 151

    151 Registered Member

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    Intel AES-NI is hardware acceleration for AES encryption. It dramatically increases speeds when using AES full disk encryption. However, AES-NI is closed source and personally, I view it as highly suspicious. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I would say that it depends upon your truly needing the extra speed. e.g. I use TrueCrypt and I could employ that feature on my hardware since both the software and the hardware indicate I could. I select to error on the side of caution, and utilize the encryption without the acceleration. My machine has a current i series processor and its still more than fast enough. In fact its lightning really, even without the acceleration.
     
  3. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    This is a very good question. It seems like everything is suspect anymore.
     
  4. Nanobot

    Nanobot Registered Member

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    Considering that Intel is one of NSA's strategic partners then i'd say yes, Intel as a whole is highly suspicious...../Tinfoilhat
     
  5. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I would view any closed source encryption as suspect. Myself, I'd consider Intel as untrustworthy in this regard.
    The question that you might want to ask yourself is whether or not you even need the additional speed. Most hardware has more speed than you'll need, even without acceleration. I used to run Shareaza (older P2P software) from a Blowfish encrypted partition on an external hard drive. Even with ancient hardware, it was completely usable.
     
  6. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    This information will certainly influence my purchasing decisions - tinfoil hat or not. Does anyone know if a full list of NSA accomplices has been published?
     
  7. erikloman

    erikloman Developer

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    AES is an crypto algorithm developed by Belgian cryptographers. The algorithm is well described.

    AES-NI is merely the hardware accelerated implementation of that well described algorithm that has to produce the same output as any software implementation.

    If you have your tinfoil hats on, I'd be more worried about the RdRand random number generator in Intel CPUs. The documents state the entropy is derived from thermal noise. But little more is known.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RdRand

    My 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  8. Paranoid Eye

    Paranoid Eye Registered Member

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    thanks erikloman

    I think regardless at end of the day no one has managed to break AES and its the chosen standard by US and just about every hardware product and software product going, it has most likely? defeated every cracker and hacker attempt possible.

    Perhaps to use combinations but otherwise I think its pointless.
     
  9. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Even if AES itself is unbreakable, there's no way to determine if it's properly implemented in the hardware or that the hardware doesn't leak the data needed to decrypt it.
     
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