Discussion:
OT: AMD Eypc processor -- RAM encrypt/decrypt built in
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John McKown
2018-05-09 13:27:52 UTC
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This is interesting. Reminds me a bit of IBM's newest "Pervasive
Encryption".

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/20/amd_epyc_launch/

There are three modes. The one that is really interesting is the SEV mode,
designed to be used when running a hypervisor.

"
Each VM is assigned an address space ID (ASID) as normal by the hypervisor,
and this ID is tied to an encryption key held in the controller. When CPU
core time is given to a virtual machine, the controller takes the VM's
ASID, looks up its private key, and uses that for encrypting and decrypting
all memory accesses on the fly. The hypervisor has its own ASID – zero –
and can never see the keys. Thus not even a rogue or hijacked hypervisor
can make sense of a virtual machine's contents, let alone any other
software running in other VMs, because all the data will appear scrambled.
The hypervisor and host operating system simply don't have the keys.
"

You simply cannot effectively read one VM's memory contents from a
different VM. And you can't read data even if you have some sort of "rogue"
PCIe card installed to "sniff" the PCIe bus because the data on the bus is
encrypted.
--
We all have skeletons in our closet.
Mine are so old, they have osteoporosis.

Maranatha! <><
John McKown

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Carmen Vitullo
2018-05-09 13:41:33 UTC
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Very cool indeed !



Carmen Vitullo

----- Original Message -----

From: "John McKown" <***@GMAIL.COM>
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 8:29:14 AM
Subject: OT: AMD Eypc processor -- RAM encrypt/decrypt built in

This is interesting. Reminds me a bit of IBM's newest "Pervasive
Encryption".

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/20/amd_epyc_launch/

There are three modes. The one that is really interesting is the SEV mode,
designed to be used when running a hypervisor.

"
Each VM is assigned an address space ID (ASID) as normal by the hypervisor,
and this ID is tied to an encryption key held in the controller. When CPU
core time is given to a virtual machine, the controller takes the VM's
ASID, looks up its private key, and uses that for encrypting and decrypting
all memory accesses on the fly. The hypervisor has its own ASID – zero –
and can never see the keys. Thus not even a rogue or hijacked hypervisor
can make sense of a virtual machine's contents, let alone any other
software running in other VMs, because all the data will appear scrambled.
The hypervisor and host operating system simply don't have the keys.
"

You simply cannot effectively read one VM's memory contents from a
different VM. And you can't read data even if you have some sort of "rogue"
PCIe card installed to "sniff" the PCIe bus because the data on the bus is
encrypted.
--
We all have skeletons in our closet.
Mine are so old, they have osteoporosis.

Maranatha! <><
John McKown

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Elardus Engelbrecht
2018-05-09 15:02:59 UTC
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This is interesting. Reminds me a bit of IBM's newest "Pervasive Encryption".
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/20/amd_epyc_launch/
Interesting. So to grab a CPU is needing this condition - available and correct Private Key.

"The key is generated during power-up by the BIOS, and should never leave the controller."

What if there is a flaky memory or something? Say you generate the key and store it somewhere, but a bit is written as 1 instead of 0 or vice-versa. What do you do then? What checksum and fixing are there to fix it on the fly?

Will that new trick stop that Meltdown/Spectre vulnerability?

Groete / Greetings
Elardus Engelbrecht

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