Trust no one: backdoored CPUs

Major Variola (ret) mv at
Sun Aug 15 19:05:42 PDT 2004

We worried about compromized OSes, BIOSes, read last week about
a PNG library bug that lets images run buffer exploits, now CPUs
can be backdoored:

>From Scheier's Crypto-gram:

Here's an interesting hardware security vulnerability.  Turns out that
it's possible to update the AMD K8 processor (Athlon64 or Opteron)
microcode.  And, get this, there's no authentication check.  So it's
possible that an attacker who has access to a machine can backdoor the

7&Thread=1&entryID=35446&roomID=11> or <>

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