Supply chains and trust

By: David Hess (, October 4, 2018 11:03 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
dmcq ( on October 4, 2018 10:31 am wrote:
> Too many people monitor their internet traffic for
> this sort of thing to remain hidden for very long, and the possible economic negatives are just too
> great. There's far easier and more deniable ways of doing it.

Do you mean the economic negatives to the companies involved and especially Supermicro or the economic negatives to China?

I think the traffic monitoring aspect is irrelevant. More and more systems phone home whether it is needed or not concealing surreptitious traffic making this an increasingly difficult problem.

Eventually someone was going to be stupid or desperate enough to try modifying hardware in this way and get caught no matter what the consequences. Altering chip masks would be much more difficult and modifying firmware or software is easier to detect despite being more deniable.

As far damage from blowback, the NSA has made this same mistake several times now tarnishing companies like RSA, their own security division, NIST, and various committees involved with security standards.

> If anything like this happened people will
> soon find a way of identifying the compromised boards and show them generally. It is about possible
> to make something that small but they would also need to reroute a bit to get the right tracks.

There was a limited window where this could happen but changing the board layout is trivial compared to changing a mask or firmware. In the future where it matters, x-ray inspection could verify the fidelity of the boards even if the chips are added between layers.
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TopicPosted ByDate
Supply chains and trustDavid Kanter2018/10/04 07:23 AM
  Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/04 08:57 AM
    Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/04 09:01 AM
      Supply chains and trustwumpus2018/10/04 03:35 PM
      Supply chains and trustRobert Williams2018/10/08 05:30 PM
        Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/08 06:21 PM
          Supply chains and trustRobert Williams2018/10/09 08:03 AM
            Supply chains and trustRobert Williams2018/10/09 08:08 AM
              Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/09 08:27 AM
    Supply chains and trustdmcq2018/10/04 09:31 AM
      Supply chains and trustGabriele Svelto2018/10/04 10:32 AM
        Supply chains and trustBrett2018/10/04 10:52 AM
          Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/04 11:08 AM
            Supply chains and trustAdrian2018/10/04 11:36 AM
              Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/04 11:51 AM
              Supply chains and trustRob Thorpe2018/10/04 12:09 PM
            Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/04 11:38 AM
            Supply chains and trustBrett2018/10/04 11:52 AM
          Supply chains and trustDoug S2018/10/04 12:33 PM
        Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/04 11:09 AM
      Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/04 11:03 AM
    Supply chains and trustDoug S2018/10/04 12:45 PM
      Supply chains and trustGabriele Svelto2018/10/05 12:53 AM
        Supply chains and trustdmcq2018/10/05 02:51 AM
          Supply chains and trustGabriele Svelto2018/10/05 03:34 AM
        Supply chains and trustDoug S2018/10/05 11:46 AM
          Supply chains and trustGabriele Svelto2018/10/06 01:59 PM
            Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/06 03:12 PM
    Supply chains and trustJ2018/10/04 09:24 PM
      Supply chains and trustAndrew Clough2018/10/05 05:38 AM
        Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/06 03:16 PM
        Supply chains and trustMaxwell2018/10/06 03:37 PM
    Hit job on Super Micro?Maxwell2018/10/04 09:46 PM
      Hit job on Super Micro?Brett2018/10/04 11:55 PM
        Hit job on Super Micro?David Hess2018/10/06 03:15 PM
  Supply chains and trustKevin G2018/10/04 12:47 PM
    Raptor Engineering's RaptorGabriele Svelto2018/10/05 03:42 AM
    Supply chains and trustGroo2018/10/06 05:49 AM
      Supply chains and trustDavid Kanter2018/10/06 08:04 AM
        Supply chains and trustGroo2018/10/06 02:42 PM
          Supply chains and trustDavid Kanter2018/10/06 02:46 PM
            SuperMicro boards are not made in USAAdrian2018/10/06 11:08 PM
              SuperMicro boards are not made in USAAdrian2018/10/06 11:28 PM
          Supply chains and trustjuanrga2018/10/07 06:12 AM
        Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/06 03:24 PM
      Supply chains and trustWes Felter2018/10/07 02:35 PM
  What did the BOM entry look like?Mark Roulo2018/10/04 01:21 PM
  Supply chains and trustMaynard Handley2018/10/04 03:01 PM
    Supply chains and trustdmcq2018/10/05 12:27 AM
      Here's what I think happenedDoug S2018/10/05 11:56 AM
        Here's what I think happenedBrett2018/10/05 03:17 PM
          FBI wants to be your first contactex-apple2018/10/05 03:41 PM
          Here's what I think happenedDoug S2018/10/05 09:59 PM
            Why call CIA?David Kanter2018/10/06 08:01 AM
              Why call CIA?Doug S2018/10/06 08:33 AM
                Why call CIA?David Kanter2018/10/06 02:43 PM
        Here's what I think happenedMaynard Handley2018/10/05 03:23 PM
          Here's what I think happeneddmcq2018/10/06 03:52 AM
    Supply chains and trustDavid Hess2018/10/06 03:34 PM
  Supply chains and trustGroo2018/10/06 06:01 AM
    Supply chains and trustetudiant2018/10/07 03:36 AM
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