Surreptitious RAM

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Revision as of 17:38, 30 January 2009 by Schoen (Talk | contribs)

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Bunnie Huang wrote about "surreptitious RAM" on p. 206 of his book Hacking the Xbox. Surreptitious RAM refers either to memory modules or memory module adapters that provide some interface other than the commands coming from the memory bus on the motherboard. For example, we can imagine a memory module that has a standard DIMM form factor and interface but that also provides an external USB interface which lets another computer read (and maybe write) the current contents of RAM as a USB mass storage device. The ability to access the contents of RAM over an external interface provide a convenient way to defeat any memory protection policies enforced by the operating system and MMU (even on systems where DMA can be disabled). This is pretty powerful for forensics, debugging, or computer security attacks (given physical access to a PC); Bunnie and trusted computing developers have also described it as a practical way of attacking the implementation of TPMs in PCs. Does anyone want to try to make some surreptitious RAM or a surreptitious RAM adapter? Schoen 16:38, 30 January 2009 (PST)

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