[rb-general] Crowdfunded 8086 audit

Orians, Jeremiah (DTMB) OriansJ at michigan.gov
Mon Apr 1 11:13:31 CEST 2019

> I'd like to crowdfund an audit of Intel's 8086 CPU¹.
Waste of time and money

> Ultimately, nice though reproducible builds may be, if we are to avoid RoTT attacks we must have audited, verified hardware as well.
Actually you need full lithography process control, which is what libresilicon is doing.

> Auditing the 8086 is a first step towards auditing modern-day CPUs derived from it, and will be separately useful as a "trusted platform" which can cross-compile reproducible binaries in order to establish trust in other platforms (see John Gilmore's post²'s footnote and David Wheeler's "Diverse Double-Computing" thesis³, for two).
Not even true; Modern x86 processors have more in common with VLIW architecture than they have with 8086.

> See the write-up⁴ for more details, but in a nutshell, for this to happen (and be useful), we need:
> - To have native and cross builds produce the same output as each other.
Already being done in MesCC, M2-Planet and mescc-tools

> - To acquire 8086s and have means of non-destructively auditing them.
Not possible

> - To change the Berne Convention on copyright law to make this sort of auditing legal.
> I'll start by sending a patch to the Berne guys; anybody knows what their mailing list's address is?
Complete and utter waste of time


More information about the rb-general mailing list