EE Journal Takes a Look at Securing IOT Devices with TCG’s DICE Root of Trust

Date Published: September, 05, 2018

TCG and members Microsoft, Microchip, Winbond and others have helped create DICE , or the Device Identity Composition Engine, that enables a lightweight root of trust for IOT and embedded devices. These companies and others are implementing DICE in a number of products and solutions.

EE Journal has published a comprehensive look at DICE in a new article:

“…You do all the right things when designing your gadget: you do extensive verification; you build in some communication security stuff for secure connections; you even disable the debug port when not in use by an authorized repairperson. But… after you ship it, how do you know that it’s not being compromised?

The answer may be that you don’t know; you just have faith, based on the safeguards you built in, that no one has been able to penetrate the fortress. But what if there was a chink in the wall that you didn’t think of? What if someone is in your system right now plotting world domination and/or ruination?

Without specific added safeguards, you can’t say for certain that this isn’t happening. (OK, fair enough, nothing is certain in this world… yes, it all comes down the number of 9s: how many are you good for?)

If you have the system BOM budget for it, you can include some sort of hardware security ID facility. Computers do this with a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM. If you have a credit card or other small item that absolutely requires security, you may have a Secure Element, or SE. Yeah, kind of the same as a TPM, but, since TPMs are associated with bulky computers, small-gadget folks prefer to use a different name.

But these are extra pieces of hardware. They take space and energy, and they cost money. There are numerous smart (or getting-smart) widgets that have little money, power, or space budget to spare. So what can they do?

Software Device Identity

That’s where the Device Identier Composition Engine, or DICE, comes in. (For once, the correct use of the plural of “die,” only not used as such… <le sigh…>) This is a methodology put forth by the Trusted Computing Group, from whom comes the TPM. The idea is that you don’t have to have dedicated hardware to know that your system hasn’t been compromised…”

Find the complete article here, https://www.eejournal.com/article/a-roll-of-the-dice/. And look for more information on DICE at upcoming events (https://trustedcomputinggroup.org/pressroom/events/) including electronica 2018 and in our press room.

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