Google Servers all Contain Custom Security Silicon

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Kyle_Bennett, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    I came across a very interesting article over The Register that attempts to digest and summarize this document recently released by Google.

    Revealed last Friday, the document outlines six layers of security and reveals some interesting factoids about the Alphabet subsidiary's operations, none more so than the disclosure that: "We also design custom chips, including a hardware security chip that is currently being deployed on both servers and peripherals. These chips allow us to securely identify and authenticate legitimate Google devices at the hardware level."
     
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  2. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Neat, how does one audit that as an external party though?
     
  3. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Im a noob on this stuff but it reminds me of hardware security on some of the newer console systems? Something like that? Something embedded thats harder to manipulate inband?
     
  4. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, though not as much nowadays. Nowadays, consoles have most of their security/encryption functions directly inside the IC designs. External chips, like this Google arrangement, are predicated on not allowing physical access to the devices.
     
  5. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Hasn't this been known for a while? Pretty sure I heard about this at least a couple years ago.
     
  6. Grahamkracka

    Grahamkracka [H]ard|Gawd

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    This shouldn't surprise anyone. Google has created a bunch of proprietary hardware for their datacenters.
     
  7. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    Where does one plug these chips? Custom MBO design?
     
  8. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I guess that is one way to lockdown allegedly 'open source' android.
     
  9. drakken

    drakken [H]ard|Gawd

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    pcb are basically layers of dielectric material and traces or paths of conductive material. If you use custom chips they need their own sockets to have the sockets traces match the traces on the boards that go between the logic chips on both attached hardware and integrated circuit units of what people think of electrical circuits soldered to the board or in some cases welded in place (think of it as hot glued between the non conductive parts or welded with liquid metal between the conductive parts).

    So google is likely running circuits made to spec and off the shelf hardware.