Software VS Hardware Security

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by kareldjag, Apr 26, 2005.

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  1. kareldjag

    kareldjag Registered Member

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    Hi,


    If this question concerns more the security choices in a corporate environment than at home, it appears that the Hardware Industry takes more and more into consideration the defense and protection of any system.

    The question "Hardware VS Software firewall" has often been discussed and the answer for a home user is quite a question of money (the software firewall is necessary, and it's better with a router).

    But i've heard that Intel and AMD will integrate antivirus protections inside their processors.
    Then it could be the same marketing choice for ATI and others constructors.

    The problem with Software security is that any sofware is vulnerable to Reverse Ingienereen.
    Then any system protected by security softwares is vulnerable and could be bypassed and defeated.
    The best hacking methods are often a mix between well known methods or exploits and personal research.

    Each day new exploits and vulnerabilities can be used for defeating systems and in order to gain access for any targets (for fun or bad intentions).
    All the products which we're talking about on this forum could be vulnerable against Buffer/Heap Overflow (even with a specific and efficient protection like StackDefender or Overflowguard).
    This attack could also just the first step for a D.Of Service (DOS) and so on...

    An other example is the defense against DDOS for a home user.
    Without an Hardware protection, the system can be DDOSed (with the necessary resources).
    But the probability for a home computer to be the victim of a DDOS is really minor.
    Web Applications Attacks (which targets the browser for a home user for instance) are also a big problem which is really difficult to resolve with security softwares.

    Finally, we can list the Pros and the Cons of Hardware VS Software security and it will often be a question of money and price more than a question of efficiency.

    But just wait for the technology news...

    Regards
     
  2. kareldjag

    kareldjag Registered Member

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  3. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Hi kareldjag,

    The issue of Trusted Computing has been bandied about for some time now. The article you quote has a link to

    http://www.eff.org/Infrastructure/trusted_computing/20031001_tc.php

    How much hardware security is really aimed solely at protecting the user's privacy is a matter of debate. The Pros and Cons have lined up well-thought out arguments. Quoting from the above article - for instance, who could argue with the idea of Secure I/O:

    -----------------
    Secure input and output, or secure I/O, aims to address the threats posed by keyloggers and screen-grabbers, software used by snoops and intruders to spy on computer users' activities. A keylogger records what you type, and a screen-grabber records what's displayed on the screen. Secure I/O provides a secure hardware path from the keyboard to an application -- and from the application back to the screen. No other software running on the same PC will be able to determine what the user typed, or how the application responded. (At the same time, secure I/O will provide protection against some more esoteric attacks. It will allow programs to determine whether their input is provided by a physically present user, as distinct from another program impersonating a user. And it will defeat some cases of forgery where one program attempts to corrupt or mask another's output in order to deceive the user.)
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    On the other hand, regarding possible abuses of remote attestation (allowing "unauthorized" changes to software to be detected):

    -------------------------
    A web site could demand a software attestation from people wishing to read it. If they declined to provide an attestation, the site would refuse to deal with them at all; if the attestation showed that they were using "unapproved" software, the site would likewise decline to interact with them...

    Security has nothing to do with many sites' motivations for preventing the use of disfavored software. Indeed, their reasons may be entirely arbitrary. In some cases, a site operator wants to force you to use a particular program in order to subject you to advertising. By verifying your use of an "approved" client, the site can satisfy itself that you have been forced to view a certain number of advertisements.
    -----------------------

    Microsoft's hardware security plans for Longhorn will broaden the scope of the discussion. The plot thickens...

    ---
    Rmus
     
  4. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Very interesting. Thanks. :ninja: ;)
     
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