Friday, August 23, 2013

Windows 8 security warning issued by Germany

The Federal Office for Information Security in Germany has issued a security warning for Windows 8 due to its TPM integration.

Windows TPM security
The security in Windows 8 is less than ideal according to the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, BSI) who has therefore issued a warning to the public. 

The problem originates from the tight integration of Windows 8 with TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module). This can result in the users losing control of their operating system as well as the hardware. The function of the TPM is to control the hardware as well as the software of a computer and only allow authorized code to be executed. In essence, through TPM, a hacker could potentially disable a whole system or parts of a system by preventing certain software or hardware to be used, opening up a completely new vector for sabotage.

BSI recommends in particular governments and corporations which are responsible for important infrastructure to be aware and cautious on this matter and as always ensure that proper security software are engaged and updated on all exposed computers.

Edit: BSI has now stated that the official warning of the security issues in Windows 8 and TPM were exaggerated.

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