O Preventing TPM Reset Attacks

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The TPM reset attack is technically very difficult to prevent using some of the oldest TPM technology, namely TPMs provided on daughterboards. The attack is more complicated to perform if the TPM is integrated to the motherboard, rendering access to the chip pins more difficult. On the other hand, the risk associated with this attack is very low due to the very high cost for the attacker: She has to not only be present in front of the computer, but also open it, find the TPM and the correct pin, and put the wire at the right spot (being careful not to reset any other physical interface or damage the hardware). The obvious protection mechanism is here to make it difficult for the attacker to open the computer, by, for example, soldering the computer case's panel together.

Intel has recently announced that it would build TPMs inside its chipsets. Although this change to the hardware platform architecture is not yet completely understood in terms of security, it will automatically prevent the TPM reset attack because it will no longer be possible to physically access the TPM.

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