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Field Stripping a Weapons System: Building a Trustworthy Computer

October 2019 Poster
Gabriel Somlo (SEI CERT)

Ths poster describes research to determine the feasibility of rebuilsing a weapons system from source code.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

Abstract

The DoD finds itself increasingly reliant on COTS systems for mission critical applications. In particular, the length and opacity of the hardware supply chain presents a large attack surface for the insertion of hardware-based privilege escalation vulnerabilities that can lead to a total system compromise even in the theoretical presence of completely bug-free software. This project demonstrates the feasibility of field stripping a computer by rebuilding it from complete hardware, software, and compiler tool chain source code.