Will hack resistant chips really work?

Short answer: not really…:

[…] Hack-resistant chips aren’t a completely new invention, though. Frank Downs, director of cybersecurity practice at ISACA, calls the development of these chips an old idea with a modern twist.

“Similar to how the cloud has existed for decades but a cultural relabeling has revitalised the idea of storing data offsite, so has the development of unique, highly customised hardware which limits functions during processing,” he says

“Specifically, over the last decade, Advanced Reduced Instruction Set Computer Machine (ARM) has worked with governments and corporations to build an architecture which has provided only approved functionality to specific organisations.”

Downs admits, however, that these chips could still be infiltrated by attackers if they’re not designed well enough. “Corporations believe that through coordinating directly with chip designers, such as ARM, they will strengthen their risk portfolio and reduce potential exploitation by nefarious actors such as hackers and advanced persistent threats (APTs),” he says.

“However, no matter how uniquely a chipset is designed, unless the designers also produce the chip on site, under their own scrutiny, these devices still go through susceptible manufacturing processes.”

The main issue, according to Downs, is that the final owners of the chipset do not control the entirety of the manufacturing process of the chip.  He continues: “As such, the supply chain represents a perpetual vulnerability for organisations hoping to secure their hardware by building a chip that is specific to their functions.


Original article here