Bus Snooping Attacks

Advance Technical Repair of Laptops Motherboard

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The TPM is connected to the LPC bus on a PC platform since this is the only one available early enough at boot time. But due to this bus's slow frequency (33 MHz), eavesdropping on the bus's communication and trying to determine which signals come from and are destined for the TPM is quite easy. Though this attack requires specialized hardware tools, it is much easier to perform than snooping on the other buses, where communication occurs at a much greater speed.

Similarly to the TPM reset attack, old TPMs on daughterboards are easier to access than those integrated with the motherboard. But this attack has the added drawback of requiring expert knowledge and material, as knowledge of hardware technology is generally the privilege of a few experts and engineers. Furthermore, not all communication from and to the TPM is exploitable, as some secrets (e.g., cryptographic keys) are never shared with the environment outside the TPM and others are not visible in the clear.

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