SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

News Feed Item

SPYRUS(R) Announces Its Encrypting and Bootable Windows To Go Drives Are Invulnerable to "BadUSB" Attacks

Proven SPYRUS Design and Manufacturing Solution to Signed Firmware Update Process Has Been Successfully Implemented for Decades

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/13/14 -- SPYRUS today announced that all SPYRUS bootable Windows To Go and Encrypting Storage Drives, including the Secured by SPYRUS™ Kingston® DT5000, DT6000, and PNY "Secured by SPYRUS™" drives are invulnerable to "BadUSB" attacks.

BadUSB attacks were publicized at the recent presentation from the 2014 Black Hat Conference entitled "BadUSB: On accessories that turn evil," by Karsten Nohl and Jacob Lell of the SRLabs, Berlin. This lab study publicizes a latent, but understood vulnerability, that potentially could affect any unprotected USB or microcontroller network connected device on the market today.

"This is not a previously unknown vulnerability. SPYRUS has been protecting our encrypted drives since our first product design that was used to protect the DoD Defense Message System with a cryptographically secure design that integrates signed firmware updates into the manufacturing process along with selective hardware disabling of update processes," said Tom Dickens, COO, SPYRUS. "This completely defeats USB hack attacks. If the firmware is somehow tampered with after signing, signature verification will fail and the unauthenticated update terminates. Contrary to the presentation's description of the 'limitations' or difficulty of applying the use of code-signing for firmware updates to microcontrollers as an effective deterrent because of the difficulty of implementation, SPYRUS has implemented cryptographic code signing in all our security products as a core competency since the release of our first product."

In essence, this attack can convert benign, normally secure USB peripherals or any vulnerable device controllers into "BadUSBs" or "bad controllers" for purposes determined by an attacker. Conventional malware scanners and antivirus programs cannot detect the tampering after-the-fact. By the time it's detected, it may be too late to reverse the results because of device or system operational failures. The only way to prevent this attack is to understand how to prevent it in the initial design and implementation of the firmware architecture.

The firmware hack attack described in the Nohl-Lell presentation can change, in whole or in part, original unprotected controller firmware code and replace it with new code, indistinguishable from a vendor firmware update. However, unlike a legitimate firmware update from a device vendor, it morphs the controller into whatever new behavior and set of characteristics the attacker desires. This is true whether the memory controller is a USB storage device, automated CNC machine, medical device, energy grid component, or any device controller connected to the "Internet of Things." And from there, these controllers can act as covert vehicles of attack that extract sensitive information, distribute viruses or take over the control of devices and machines even on protected networks.

The SPYRUS manufacturing process embeds cryptographic parameters into the device controller and protects the private digital signing key from theft or cloning. The critical aspects of using digital signatures to verify the authenticity and integrity of a firmware update and its source demand quality creation of a public key pair and private signing key and secure storage and key access. At SPYRUS, these functions are carried out in a U.S. secure facility by U.S. personnel and an access policy that requires two or more authenticated personnel to access the key in a physically locked vaulted room. These standards and procedures are audited regularly and must be maintained continuously, a product lifetime investment that many other controller and device manufacturers are hesitant to make.

The use of code-signed firmware updates, as properly implemented by SPYRUS, has and will continue to mitigate the dangers from these attacks while enabling our devices to be feature enhanced to meet new customer requirements and prolong the lifetime of the device. Other industry-leading security features of SPYRUS encrypting storage and bootable drives include:

  • XTS-AES hardware encrypted compartments
  • Read-Only settings that can be enabled to prevent permanent writes to memory compartments
  • Advanced Elliptic Curve Cryptography support in addition to the older RSA cryptographic algorithm support
  • FIPS 140-2 Level 3 SPYCOS® hardware security module
  • Made In USA security technology
  • Passwords that are never stored on the device in any form
  • Optional use of secure secondary/tertiary DataVault compartments
  • Embedded smartcard capabilities for two-factor authentication
  • New ruggedized tamper-evident water-resistant aluminum case design with tethered end-cap
  • SPYRUS Enterprise Management System to centrally manage access to devices and destroy, enable/disable and audit devices

For a full list of product specific features and for more information regarding the advantages of using SPYRUS products, please visit our website at www.spyrus.com or contact us at [email protected].

Related Links
Windows To Go Video http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/jj737992
Windows 8.1 Enterprise http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-8-1/enterprise-edition.aspx

About SPYRUS, Inc.

SPYRUS delivers innovative encryption solutions that offer the strongest protection for data in motion, data at rest and data at work. For over 20 years, SPYRUS has delivered leading hardware-based encryption, authentication, and digital content security products to government, financial, and health care enterprises. To prevent the insertion of untrusted components, patented Secured by SPYRUS™ security technology is proudly designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA to meet FIPS 140-2 Level 3 standards. SPYRUS has collaborated closely with Microsoft to deliver the first certified hardware encrypted portable platform for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Window 8.1. SPYRUS is headquartered in San Jose, California. See www.spyruswtg.com for more information.

SPYRUS, the SPYRUS logo, Secured by SPYRUS, and SPYCOS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SPYRUS, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other jurisdictions. All other company, organization, and product names are trademarks of their respective organizations.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
"Ulunsoft is a start-up that focuses on how enterprises build cloud-based IT infrastructure for business," explained Haibo Zhu, President of Ulunsoft Corp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in San...
As enterprises engage with Big Data technologies to develop applications needed to meet operational demands, new computation fabrics are continually being introduced. To leverage these new innovations, organizations are sacrificing market opportunities to gain expertise in learning new systems. In his session at Big Data Expo, Supreet Oberoi, Vice President of Field Engineering at Concurrent, Inc., discussed how to leverage existing infrastructure and investments and future-proof them against e...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
AppDynamics, the application intelligence leader for software-defined businesses, announced the general availability of the AppDynamics Fall '14 Release. Serving the combined needs of IT and business teams across the enterprise, the latest release provides a comprehensive view across all aspects of digital performance in ultra large scale deployments. AppDynamics delivers Application Intelligence by building out advanced capabilities across the key areas of analytics, unified monitoring and D...
In addition, Tesora adds the popular enterprise distribution from Mirantis to the Tesora OpenStack Database Certification Program ensuring compatibility with both NoSQL and SQL database management systems on Trove and eliminating the headache of enterprises having to test integration on their own. "We're providing Mirantis customers with the most production-ready OpenStack Trove implementation, saving the work and time necessary to ensure compatibility," said Ken Rugg, CEO of Tesora. "Working...
Docker containerization is gaining rapid popularity with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) developers because of clear benefits such as simplified and continuous app delivery. Enterprise developers also want to leverage Docker for easy provisioning and efficient testing, but IT has unique needs that Docker does not solve out-of-the-box, such as security and access control, supporting heterogeneous infrastructure, apps and app stacks, backup and recovery, visibility and monitoring, and integration. Ho...