Re: About system clocks...

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed May 04 2005 - 18:06:14 CDT

On May 4, 2005, at 3:33 PM, Jim March wrote:

> Ron Crane wrote:
>
>> On May 4, 2005, at 2:56 PM, Jim March wrote:
>>
>>> Are there any common PC BIOSes that allow blocking of date/time
>>> changes? This has an effect on the accuracy of the audit log. If
>>> I'm a hacker and want to "add votes" later, changing when the votes
>>> appear to have been added by rebooting and getting into BIOS setup
>>> to change the time is an old trick...
>>
>>
>> I don't know, but many BIOSes provide passwords. If the key
>> management I've seen elsewhere is any indication, the passwords
>> probably are stored as plaintext in a flash RAM, but, since
>> recovering them (or replacing the flash RAM) requires physical access
>> to the machine, they potentially provide some security. Of course,
>> they may also have backdoors, or even provide an official way to
>> reset the password to a known value.
>>
>> -R
>
>
> Yeah, I know about BIOS passwords. I'm looking for something more
> stringent.
>
> You know how to defeat the BIOS password? Find the CMOS memory chip
> on the motherboard, typically near the battery. Take any straight
> piece of metal, a paperclip will do, and lay it across the CMOS memory
> chip pins one row at a time (typically square hence four rows). This
> "blows the contents" of CMOS memory. You lose all the BIOS settings
> and have to re-enter them and reset the date/time - but you also blow
> out the password.
>
> Haven't had to do that in a number of years...six or seven? Anyways,
> have things gotten better either standard or by special order?

I suspect there are no longer dedicated CMOS chips in modern systems.
Probably the entire system core lives on a single ASIC. That's what I'd
do if I wanted to cut costs.

-R

_______________________________________________
OVC discuss mailing lists
Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Tue May 31 23:17:19 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue May 31 2005 - 23:17:52 CDT