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Author Topic: Bitcoin is not enough: we need open source hardware  (Read 459 times)
hosseinamin
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March 15, 2019, 05:04:43 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #21

FPGA can be a possible solutions for more controlled transaction signing. Since these devices are made for engineers to build chips.

That would be a good compromise.
I am not into FPGAs, so i ask you: is it easy to verify there aren't suspicious components in there?

For motherboards  it is not easy to check.
See https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/11/07/1041236/minix-intels-hidden-in-chip-operating-system
or https://itsfoss.com/fact-intel-minix-case/

Or even for CPU cores: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/x86-hidden-god-mode,37582.html


RISC-V ISA has implemented and was developed using FPGA's. These devices are used for testing gates before taping it out as an ASIC (CPU is a programmable ASIC) .
Well these devices have several GPIO pins for communicating with other devices. One can limit amount of IO's they use and use an open-source communication method to make sure it can only do one thing.

And about verification of loaded bitstream. Best option is to build and upload the bitstream.

How much one should think ahead to break into this device?

RISCV is open-source. You can build bit-stream of it. Or even add custom instructions to it. I'm not sure how these devices store data, For storing private key.
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March 15, 2019, 10:33:55 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #22

When you say that your private key is in your hands, you mean that it is stored in a device you trust.
Or if it is on paper,  you assume that when you will import/use the PK on a device to make a payment/transfer, you trust that device.

you just post a real concern in this topic.. and this is what I have done in PoCo Project [1], a hardware wallet that will be fully open source.. even the PCB, bill of material and drawing of the box will be available for everyone:

http://mixoftix.net/knowledge_base/blockchain/poco_wallet_prototype.jpg

an important note regarding to the PoCo Wallet is that, I try to provide a very different method for signing and save the private security value in this specific project, and this simply lets me to work with a very small (and cheap) AVR micro-controller, and I am not sure if the same AVR could do heavy process of bitcoin security model too (however there are sort of projects online that could handle asymmetric encryption by an AVR). anyways, simple micro-controllers better suit your real concerns about the necessity of an open source hardware project..

[1] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5066624.0

من مست و تو دیوانه، مارا که برد خانه!؟
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March 25, 2019, 02:41:50 AM
 #23

You are right in that having a closed source hardware, like Intel or AMD, can be a potential liability. I'm not overly familiar with this subject, but I think there are independent hardware manufacturer you can switch to, like Raspberry pi.  

Alternatively, if you use an air-gapped computer, you can get by even with closed source hardware, as discussed in this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2690001.0

[...]

Even if I moved all of my private keys into an airgapped laptop which has never seen the internet after being formatted, when I wanted to sign an offline transaction into the online node... the node is still connected to the internet, could somehow a exploit happen in the process?

Signing an offline transaction with an airgapped device won't compromise your private keys, since the online device that transmits the transaction has no access to the private keys on the airgapped device.

However, the following possible exploits still prevail, regardless of Meltdown and Spectre:

-) A compromised USB stick could still grab your private keys from the airgapped device while copying the signed transaction for later transmission using the online device.

-) Simply moving a private key from an online device to an airgapped device will do little for your security. The private keys should be generated by the airgapped device itself.

-) Make sure your device is indeed airgapped and doesn't try to connect to any open Wifis that may be around.


Basically, every offline approach to wallet security still holds. Hot wallets are more susceptible to attacks than ever, at least until the security updates are out.

Very smart solution ! +5 merit

About the USB stick, what about if you don't use it: just generate a QR code of the signed tx on the airgapped PC, and you take a pic of the QR with a phone.
That eliminates the need to plug untrusted devices/sticks to the airgapped PC

The only thing left is mining. If you have a mining pool or are mining solo ( maybe a minor altcoin ) , you still need a fully synced node with the PK in its folder, and internet connection.


There are devices that are basically scanning guns designed to read QR, it would near impossible that you happen to have that gun compromised. The phone or USB could be compromised to tweak the QR into an attacker's address QR.

I still would like to see a ice GUI implementation off offline to online signing tx's. Right now as far as I know you have to manually craft the tx on the cvar console on Core's client, get the raw tx and pass it on the hot wallet.


Is there a way to do it through the GUI, choose whatever inputs you want to use on Coin Control, and then export this and put it into the hot wallet? It would be safer than screwing up a complex raw tx manually crafted.
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April 16, 2019, 11:09:22 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #24

People talk about air gapped computers being secure but they are subject to get compromised via light, sound, heat, electromagnetic, magnetic and ultrasonic waves.

Read the paper; https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.04014.pdf
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April 20, 2019, 01:07:24 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #25

People talk about air gapped computers being secure but they are subject to get compromised via light, sound, heat, electromagnetic, magnetic and ultrasonic waves.

Especially if you are physically next to it or close... Yeah i read those papers before, they are interesting and good idea for a James Bond like movie, not impossible but not trivial either, and very unlikely to succeed in facilities with an adequate security protocol.

In the past it was also possible to recreate what CRTs displayed by passive listening alone, that gap is now closed. Some of the tricks need mechanical moving magnetic media, and those also seem to be on the way out. Nothing is 100% secure, but its about reducing the risks.

There used to be some joke about an air gapped computer, inside a room with armed guards outside. Yeah if you are next to it protection gets trickier... Computer forensics is also an interesting career.

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