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Thursday, October 29 • 13:05 - 13:50
Block Me if You Can: Subverting IMA - Tobias Mueller, University of Hamburg

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This presentation investigates the resilience of IMA against malicious block devices. While it is not too surprising that all hope is lost if the hardware betrays you, we note that reprogramming hard-disk controllers is still relatively easy and the results may surprise some who sought to protect their machines with IMA. We find that users, in particular in the domain of critical infrastructure, may be susceptible in ways they have not considered. In this presentation, we demonstrate that the security guarantees of IMA can be undermined by way of a specially-crafted malicious block device, which delivers different data depending on whether the block has already been accessed. We extensively analyse the conditions which allow the attack to be launched and discuss how the attack affects certain use cases of IMA and discuss potential mitigations.


Tobias Mueller

Academic, University of Hamburg
Tobias is a German Free Software advocate, former member of the GNOME Foundation's Board of Directors, and Pythonista. He acquired a Masters degree in Security and Forensic computing from Dublin, is now working in the area of applied cryptography, and loves to build and break stuff... Read More →

Thursday October 29, 2020 13:05 - 13:50 GMT
LSS Theater
  Linux Security Summit (LSS)