RE: Bitlocker without PIN
- From: Per Thorsheim <putilutt@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 10:34:36 +0100
"Transparent" Bitlocker with TPM and direct boot to Windows Logon is not
a good idea in terms of security.
At the Passwords^10 conference in Dec 2010, Passware revealed their
newest versio of their forensic toolkit. You probably want to see that:
Using Passware Forensic Toolkit you can extract the bitlocker key using
live memory dumping through Firewire (either by using an existing
Firewire port, or by inserting an pcmcia/expresscard firewire card). No
need to logon to Windows there...
Depending on your configuration, the hibernation file may be
unencrypted. This can then be extracted from the disk and analyzed to
get the bitlocker decryption key as well.
1. Superglue for your Firewire and pcmcia/expresscard ports
2. Do not allow hibernation mode OR encrypt the hibernation file as well
3. Always use Pre-Boot Authentication (PBA) in some form (pin, password,
On Wed, 2011-02-23 at 21:45 +0000, Alexander Kurt Keller wrote:
Speaking as an individual and not representing my institution. If you can handle the support overhead I would require the PIN or physical key in addition to the transparent TPM key for added protection.
Re: What happens if he boots with a linux live CD/USB? Can he decrypt the drive? The key is stored in the TPM. Does linux have access to the TPM?
No. This is not a viable attack, these links explain in a nutshell how TPM works:
There are a number of viable attacks (and plenty more theoretical attacks) against all types of full drive encryption, including BitLocker, but it is not as trivial as using a Linux bootdisk.
Re: We are just not sure if the extra security worths having the users to type 2 passwords to boot a laptop.
If the attacker can gain physical access to the computer, and it uses TPM and boots straight to Windows, then they could attack the computer at the network layer and at the console, or via one of the more advanced hardware attacks (chip cooling, hibernation file excavation, etc.). Requiring a PIN at boot adds an extra layer of protection before the OS starts.
It comes down to a risk analysis of your environment and what you are trying to protect. For my laptop I use TrueCrypt (which by design requires a PIN) because it is a transient computer at risk for theft and contains information that could be leveraged in an attack against our infrastructure. Furthermore I use KeePass to encrypt all passwords, and AxCrypt for all sensitive documents, which offers a second layer of protection should the computer be compromised while it is booted.
It should be pointed out that BitLocker/TrueCrypt/EFS/etc. will do little or nothing to stop an attack inbound from the network or malicious code that has been allowed to execute on the running OS.
Academic Technology, San Francisco State University
Office: Burk Hall 153 Phone: (415)338-6117 Email: alkeller@xxxxxxxx
From: listbounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:listbounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Shang Tsung
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:07 AM
Subject: Bitlocker without PIN
We are on the process of setting up Bitlocker on our laptops for OS encryption and we are wandering if we should set up a PIN or not. If we do not, the attacker can get to Windows login screen, but this is where he will stop.
What happens if he boots with a linux live CD/USB? Can he decrypt the drive? The key is stored in the TPM. Does linux have access to the TPM?
We are just not sure if the extra security worths having the users to type 2 passwords to boot a laptop.
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