faulTPM: Exposing AMD fTPMs' Deepest Secrets

AutorJacob, Hans Christian; Werling, Christian; Buhren, Robert; Seifert, Jean-Pierre
AbstraktTrusted Platform Modules constitute an integral building block of modern security features. Moreover, as Windows 11 made a TPM 2.0 mandatory, they are subject to an ever-increasing academic challenge. While discrete TPMs - as found in higher-end systems - have been susceptible to attacks on their exposed communication interface, more common firmware TPMs (fTPMs) are immune to this attack vector as they do not communicate with the CPU via an exposed bus. In this paper, we analyze a new class of attacks against fTPMs: Attacking their Trusted Execution Environment can lead to a full TPM state compromise. We experimentally verify this attack by compromising the AMD Secure Processor, which constitutes the TEE for AMD's fTPMs. In contrast to previous dTPM sniffing attacks, this vulnerability exposes the complete internal TPM state of the fTPM. It allows us to extract any cryptographic material stored or sealed by the fTPM regardless of authentication mechanisms such as Platform Configuration Register validation or passphrases with anti-hammering protection. First, we demonstrate the impact of our findings by - to the best of our knowledge - enabling the first attack against Full Disk Encryption solutions backed by an fTPM. Furthermore, we lay out how any application relying solely on the security properties of the TPM - like Bitlocker's TPM- only protector - can be defeated by an attacker with 2-3 hours of physical access to the target device. Lastly, we analyze the impact of our attack on FDE solutions protected by a TPM and PIN strategy. While a naive implementation also leaves the disk completely unprotected, we find that BitLocker's FDE implementation withholds some protection depending on the complexity of the used PIN. Our results show that when an fTPM's internal state is compromised, a TPM and PIN strategy for FDE is less secure than TPM-less protection with a reasonable passphrase.