What a serious keysigning ceremony looks like

In his excellent technical explainer about the Iphone decryption order, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Joseph Bonneau discusses the actual process of cryptographically signing a new release of a major piece of Internet infrastructure like IOS.

Bonneau writes, "While we don't know what internal security measures Apple takes with its signing key, we should hope they are very strict. Apple would not want to store it on Internet-connected computers, nor allow a small group of employees to abscond with it or to secretly use the key on their own. It is most likely stored in a secure hardware module in a physical vault (or possibly split across several vaults) and requires several high-level Apple personnel to unlock the key and sign a new code release."

He goes on to compare the process with the DNSSEC Root KSK signing ceremony process, "a complicated procedure involving dozens of people," and mentioned that there was video online. There is! I watched it! You should too! It's pretty rad, solemn, techie, and interesting.

Notable Replies

  1. Needs more ritual sacrifice.

    Guessing the original precaution of requiring attendance in skivvies didn't last long.

  2. i've mentioned before, i have been a key custodian and have been involved (but not presided over) the ceremonies. it can take hours and hours to generate a single key, from which you derive more keys.

    going through the key ceremony audit though--where external auditors watch you like a hawk--was beyond nerve racking. to compromise a key if you use the proper procedures would entail something like kidnapping the families of a dozen people, holding them ransom, and rely on photographic memory of the dozen people involved.

    or just install back orifice on a PoS device and be done with it :smiley:

  3. It is also full of right wing nutjob philosophy and unreadable. I wish that I could sell my kindle copy at a used book store or at least use it as a door stop.

  4. That's what Apple is offering to do.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

16 more replies