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Keeping Secrets in Hardware: the Microsoft Xbox(TM) Case Study

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record Huang, Andrew "bunnie" en_US 2004-10-08T20:38:06Z 2004-10-08T20:38:06Z 2002-05-26 en_US
dc.identifier.other AIM-2002-008 en_US
dc.description.abstract This paper discusses the hardware foundations of the cryptosystem employed by the Xbox(TM) video game console from Microsoft. A secret boot block overlay is buried within a system ASIC. This secret boot block decrypts and verifies portions of an external FLASH-type ROM. The presence of the secret boot block is camouflaged by a decoy boot block in the external ROM. The code contained within the secret boot block is transferred to the CPU in the clear over a set of high-speed busses where it can be extracted using simple custom hardware. The paper concludes with recommendations for improving the Xbox security system. One lesson of this study is that the use of a high-performance bus alone is not a sufficient security measure, given the advent of inexpensive, fast rapid prototyping services and high-performance FPGAs. en_US
dc.format.extent 15 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 837733 bytes
dc.format.extent 527464 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/postscript
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries AIM-2002-008 en_US
dc.subject AI en_US
dc.subject Tamper-resistant hardware en_US
dc.subject Microsoft Xbox en_US
dc.subject Cryptography en_US
dc.subject Privacy en_US
dc.subject Public Key Algos en_US
dc.title Keeping Secrets in Hardware: the Microsoft Xbox(TM) Case Study en_US

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