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Dual Boot Not Trusted, Rejected By Vista SP1 525

Posted by timothy
from the that's-south-of-luckless dept.
Alsee writes "Welcome to our first real taste of Trusted Computing: With Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate, Service Pack 1 refuses to install on dual boot systems. Trusted Computing is one of the many things that got cut from Vista, but traces of it remain in BitLocker, and that is the problem. The Service Pack patch to your system will invalidate your Trust chain if you are not running the Microsoft-approved Microsoft-trusted boot loader, or if you make other similar unapproved modifications to your system. The Trust chip (the TPM) will then refuse to give you your key to unlock your own hard drive. If you are not running BitLocker then a workaround is available: Switch back to Microsoft's Vista-only boot mode, install the Service Pack, then reapply your dual boot loader. If you are running BitLocker, or if Microsoft resumes implementing Trusted Computing, then you are S.O.L."
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Dual Boot Not Trusted, Rejected By Vista SP1

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  • But what if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:30PM (#24407911)

    What happens on systems without a TPM?

  • Affects crack? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0xygen (595606) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:35PM (#24407995)

    Does one of the more popular Vista cracks not rely on booting Grub4Dos to load a bit of code to patch the kernel after boot?

    I am thinking this will be affect the crack.

    Before anyone says it, no, I am not running a pirate version of Vista, so I cannot check. In fact... not running any version of Vista, joy!

    • Re:Affects crack? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:23PM (#24408731)

      You know, I had to use that crack to get my copy of Vista reinstalled (all the partitions got wiped out, including the OEM one), because it refused to use my OEM key without the OEM partition, and simply wouldn't active. So, I had to crack my already-paid-for copy of Vista. Oh, sure, I could have gone and sent it back (to Acer, yeah right), or called Microsoft, but isn't it funny that I get a better "customer service experience" from cracked software?

      Posting anonymous for the above reasons.

  • Vista and Mac OS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheMidnight (1055796) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:36PM (#24408013)

    Has anyone tried this with Boot Camp? I had no problems with Mac OS X and FileVault dual-booting with either XP SP2 or Vista base.

  • Whew (Score:5, Funny)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:38PM (#24408055) Homepage

    Good thing I'm running Mojave and not Vista.

  • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:39PM (#24408063) Homepage Journal

    "However, it's actually a very good thing that the update and the servicing fail in this scenario, because you can just imagine the implications if the update automatically reinstalled the Vista MBR to restore boot integrity - we'd be flooded with complaints."

    So... yeah. Anyone technical enough to change their bootloader should know how to put it back temporarily so it can get updated.

    If you are running BitLocker, or if Microsoft resumes implementing Trusted Computing, then you are S.O.L.

    I thought that was the entire point of BitLocker - don't unlock things unless you know that you're not running on top of some evil VM.

  • by naoursla (99850) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:41PM (#24408095) Homepage Journal

    If you are using BitLocker then you want your data to be secure. There are probably ways that a compromised boot loader can allow an attacker access to your data. Vista closes this security hole by requiring the boot loader to be a cryptographically signed binary that it trusts. If it didn't, this story would instead be "Vista BitLocker encryption not secure on dual boot systems".

    That being said, there should be a way to register other trusted signature keys in Vista to allow 3rd party boot loaders. I don't know if there is or not, but there should be.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:55PM (#24408297)

      That's great...

      Except for the fact that it happens on any system that CAN run BitLocker, rather than any system ACTUALLY running BitLocker.

      So if you're trying to dual-boot between Linux and Vista Business/Ultimate and you have a TPM-capable machine, forget it: you're locked out until you restore the Vista bootloader.

      Even if you're not using BitLocker.
      Even if you've never even installed BitLocker.

    • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:06PM (#24408477)

      That being said, there should be a way to register other trusted signature keys in Vista to allow 3rd party boot loaders. I don't know if there is or not, but there should be.

      That's exactly what's wrong with the Trusted Computing initiative that the major players (Microsoft, Intel, etc) are implementing: they don't trust YOU to make those kinds of decisions to trust 3rd parties.

      http://www.againsttcpa.com/ [againsttcpa.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:22PM (#24409539)

        No, they do. I think a lot of people here misunderstand what TPM is meant to actually do and what it's supposed to be good for; and what it is useless for. (Frankly, I'm not sure Microsoft fully understood.)

        It's because the MBR has *changed* that means the chain isn't signed with something that will allow the system state register to authenticate with the TPM key storage; the register contents will have changed because the SHA-1 fingerprints changed, so you're not going to be able to get a coherent response from the TPM regarding any keys you've stored in it if you've taken ownership already. Without resetting the token and destroying the keys, that is.

        You want another way of doing this? Don't take ownership of the TPM to store the keys, but put 'em on a thumbdrive and use a secure passphrase (10 word Diceware, for example) to unlock them; this is also a supported mode of operation under BitLocker (assuming you trust the Elephant diffuser as being part of a reasonable cipher mode; frankly, I'm not that happy with it and prefer OCB or XTS modes, or failing that Linux's aes-cbc-essiv:sha256)... doing it the "thumbdrive way" is highly recommended when a TPM isn't available or wanted. Putting the hard disk encryption keys in the TPM isn't necessarily a good idea; they are recoverable given some effort, and that's not really what the TPM tech is for.

        This is all entirely by design; it's closing an actual security hole whereby a trojaned MBR could capture your encryption keys. Obviously this is unsuitable for any dual-booting setup. TPM just isn't designed to work with that kind of scenario; it's really more of a system for verifying extremely stable system images such as you might find on a server or tightly-controlled corporate workstation that you want to be able to have a reasonable degree of confidence hasn't had the MBR tampered with because it's a trusted client that handles classified data (and any tampering with the software whatsoever would decertify it).

        You control the chain of trust when you take ownership of the TPM; they do work just fine with Linux, and Linux does have support for them - if you want to know and prove to another system that the bootloader, BIOS, and kernel haven't changed since the state you knew was good, you can do that (although the proof is only as good as the integrity of the TPM).

        They're just hardware tokens coupled with a signed BIOS/bootloader/kernel, really. Handling the actual key management that results from that, or what you do with it, is entirely up to you.

        Vista using the TPM for BitLocker is hardly plug-and-play, and quite unsuitable for many scenarios (many TPMs out there don't even support TCG1.2); there's always TrueCrypt or PGP Whole Disk Encryption or one of the many other solutions available if you want a little more flexibility and control.

        In particular, it's not really about DRM. None of the DRM systems proposed or deployed have ever used it, or are likely to ever use any part of it, as a key storage blackbox, because an entirely homogeneous image just isn't something you can guarantee on any consumer box (that's one reason it's not even on or in the vast majority of OEM and consumer motherboards/chips). It's perhaps a bit more practical for laptops...

        Also, TPM implementations are quite breakable where the attacker has physical access and ownership of the machine and plenty of time. PCs aren't even consoles, and look what we've done to those...

        It's meant to be one interlocking part of a whole enterprise security solution. It sure as heck isn't a "magic crypto chip" that will lock up your PC, and it shares none of the common criteria with DRM scenarios (which are, of course, just as doomed if they use a hardware blackbox as if they use a software blackbox, because the plaintext is always available...). In fact, having a TPM around if you're running Linux, will at least make sure you always have a secure entropy source for /dev/random...

  • by brouski (827510) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:42PM (#24408115)

    Are so few people dual booting Vista and Linux that this story hasn't hit Slashdot until now? Is it even still applicable?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by daveime (1253762)

      Vista AND Linux ... aren't these something like matter and anti-matter ?

      Install on the same drive and the universe implodes !

  • by mpapet (761907) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:47PM (#24408181) Homepage

    This *may* be a corner case as most TPM's were shipped in the disabled state back when XP was still shipping.

    Instead, how about testing the open source BIOS stack? Most of you have an unused box of recent vintage and I'm sure the projects can use the feedback.

    FYI: An open sourced bios is an Achilles heel for Microsoft. Mobo OEM's will **jump** on a Free bios because it saves them money and elminating TPM saves them much more money.

    Get involved!!

    http://www.coreboot.org/Welcome_to_coreboot [coreboot.org]

    http://openbios.info/Welcome_to_OpenBIOS [openbios.info]

    • by Alsee (515537) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @01:38AM (#24412637) Homepage

      This *may* be a corner case as most TPM's were shipped in the disabled state back when XP was still shipping.

      I wrote the summary.

      Service Pack 1 refuses to install, even if you are not running BitLocker.
      Service Pack 1 refuses to install, even if the TPM is in a disabled state.
      Service Pack 1 refuses to install, even if you you do not have a TPM.
      If you are running a Windows version with support for the Trust system at all - currently Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate - then the service pack sees the install is going to invalidate the Trust chain, will cause the lock you out of and and all keys of this sort. Not merely your BitLocker keys, but your keys to any other existing or future software which activates this Trust system. Right now that pretty much just means BitLocker - but applying the service pack can and will result in the Trust chip nuking any and all software built on this Trusted system.

      Trusted Computing was intended to be a fully implemented "feature" of Vista, but dropped in the massive feature cuts. If/when Microsoft resumes and fully implements that plan in Windows 7 or whatever, then there isn't much possibility for any workaround. You won't be able to install/run service packs at all, you won't be able to install/run core elements of the operating systems at all, if you have any such unapproved modifications. If Trusted Computing is implemented as they planned, it becomes a strict either-or situation. Either you run an unmodified Trusted Windows install exactly as Microsoft dictates and locked in Microsoft handcuffs, or you can run what you like while absolutely you are locked out of Windows and locked out of any of your own data secured under the Windows Trust system.

      -

  • FDISK (Score:5, Funny)

    by c0d3r (156687) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:47PM (#24408183) Homepage Journal

    c:\> FDISK /MBR
    Out of Memory
    c:\> format c:
    Out of Disk Space
    c:\> edlin config.sys
    File not found
    c:\> set PROMPT=$
    $ mke2fs /dev/hda1

  • How is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:51PM (#24408245)

    Vista's security chain works as designed and intended, preventing from you to inject an untrusted bootloader into the bootstrap. Isn't that what we -want- from our security systems? This isnt' a case of "Microsoft" holding our data hostage, this is a case of our own security policies WORKING.

    If I were to be running Linux, with equivalent protection, I'd be right pissed if it could be trivially rootkitted/bypassed by swapping in a malicious bootloader.

    The ONLY flaw I see in the entire Vista/TPM system is that users don't seem to have a way of manually trusting things they genuinely want to trust. If it hasn't been blessed by MS its not trusted -- that's a fine policy for general users, but if I, as the hardware want to trust a specific bit of code (e.g. the linux boot loader) then I should be able to manually sign it somehow, and add my personal key to my personal install of Vista. And then the grub bootloader I signed will be trusted on my (and only my) PC.

    All the 'chatter on the internets' is currently centered around how to disable UAC, how to disable driver signing, how to go back to running windows as insecurely as possible. i would prefer to see the discussion take a more intelligent direction -- how to obtain keys/certificates, how to add them to Vista's chain of trust on a per PC or per domain basis, and how how sign code with them.

    Signed drivers are a FANTASTIC idea. not being able to sign drivers myself for my own hardware is EVIL. But MS --does-- have programs in place to let you sign code with 'development drivers' which are designed to only be valid on your PC... its just that most of the discussion surround the issue is how to disable it, and how evil MS for deciding what is blessed and what is not.

    I mean, take Stallman, even -he- who wrote the GPLv3 in part to counter DRM isn't against code signing. He just requires that the keys necessary to sign code be included, so the owner of the hardware and user of GPLv3 code can sign it, and thereby be free to make modifications and excercise all the freedoms intended by the gpl.

    • Untrusted? I trust GRUB, at least more than the bootloader MS provides.

      Yes, I know what "trusted" means in MS jargon. And MS isn't alone, it's a general development in our newspeak world. Basically it means that MS, not you, trust the bootloader. DRM "manages the rights" of the creator of the content, but it ignores your rights. "Value editions" are of high value to those dumping them onto the market, they're usually of little value to you, the person supposed to buy it. Essentially, all those "good" words

    • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@p10liWELTYnk.net minus author> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:13PM (#24408585) Homepage

      I mean, take Stallman, even -he- who wrote the GPLv3 in part to counter DRM isn't against code signing. He just requires that the keys necessary to sign code be included, so the owner of the hardware and user of GPLv3 code can sign it, and thereby be free to make modifications and excercise all the freedoms intended by the gpl.
      Right which is the antithesis of what "trusted computing" is all about. Trusted computing is all about allowing vendors like microsoft to trust the computer to work in thier partners interests rather than the users.

    • Re:How is this news? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:29PM (#24408849) Homepage
      The ONLY flaw I see in the entire Vista/TPM system is that users don't seem to have a way of manually trusting things they genuinely want to trust. If it hasn't been blessed by MS its not trusted...

      Exactly. I see nothing wrong with third-party boot loaders not being trusted by Vista/TPM by default. If nothing else, the system has no way of knowing if you installed them yourself or if they're part of some sort of root kit. What I don't like is that there isn't a way for the person who owns the computer to override this. As several other posters have commented, this just shows that "trusted" means "trusted by Microsoft not to let users do anything except what Microsoft wants them to."

    • by hayalci (807196) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:41PM (#24409007) Homepage

      Vista's security chain works as designed and intended, preventing from you to inject an untrusted bootloader into the bootstrap. Isn't that what we -want- from our security systems? This isnt' a case of "Microsoft" holding our data hostage, this is a case of our own security policies WORKING.

      If I were to be running Linux, with equivalent protection, I'd be right pissed if it could be trivially rootkitted/bypassed by swapping in a malicious bootloader.

      If the attacker can install a bootloader, that means you were rooted and your precious data can be grabbed from the memory of the program that happens to be using it.

      If the bootloader is installed while the OS is not running, that means you do not have adequate physical security.

  • by coldmist (154493) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:56PM (#24408323) Homepage

    Does anyone else remember when Quicken a few years ago would overwrite the MBR or something like that, and break dual-boot systems?

    What would that do in this case? Brick windows until reinstall?

    I thought it was bad of Microsoft to intentionally not read Mac floppy disks. I feel the dual-boot issues (minus BitLocker security issues in this specific case) with windows and linux (or any other OS) are just another example of that same mentality: Make it difficult to work with other systems, to try and keep people locked into the MS trash can for as long as possible.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sentry21 (8183)

      Quicken's cock-up was that it was writing to parts of the MBR that DOS/Windows didn't use - but GRUB/LILO did. In this case, it would do the same thing, since it's unlikely that Vista has changed how such things work.

      Microsoft's choice to 'intentionally not read Mac floppy disks' likely involves not having support for MFS/HFS, and not seeing any real need to reverse-engineer them to implement them.

  • by Eggplant62 (120514) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:58PM (#24408359)

    I won't use it. I just bought a laptop on Ebay, brand new, out of box, that came with the Home edition, great bargain at $421. First thing I did with it was actually start it up and say "No" on the AUP acceptance page. I immediately powered it off, put in my trust Ubuntu Hardy 64-bit install cd, wiped the disk, and installed a real operating system that will stay the fuck out of my way.

    Sorry, Microsoft, but I'd call this Epic Fail. Trusted computing causes me to lose control of *my* computer. Problem is, Microsoft don't understand the definition of computer ownership.

  • by olivier69 (1176459) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:18PM (#24408647) Homepage
    Beware : the new Intel ICH10R has an integrated TPM.
  • It is by design... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kosmosik (654958) <kos@[ ]mosik.net ['kos' in gap]> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:27PM (#24408809) Homepage

    This is by design. If you are into the secure boot stuff you'll know why.

    This is not about DRM and such (but may be) but about *your* data encrypted by BitLocker (the DRM is about protecting *somebody else's* data from you - that is why it is flawed concept).

    Right now there are some kinds of attacks that let you compromise the entire system right from boot (using other than approved bootloader and unsecure boot proces) puting it into hypervisor and thus being able to retrive keys and such directly from memory.

    In fact I don't see any other option as to control entire boot proces. And if you wish to control it you need to use tools that support it.

    So in fact it is not a Bad Thing. It could be a bad thing if you are casual-security user - but this 'casual security' is not so secure isn't it?

    I bet BitLocker documentation covers that. But why bother checking? It is better to set the "secure" option to "on" and dumbly belive it.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @05:29PM (#24408853) Journal

    ...dual boot Vista Ultimate 32-bit/OpenSUSE dev box at the office, I've got SP1 installed and haven't had to touch my bootloader (which works just fine by the way) and Vista works fine as well (in other words it works the same as before ;)...) I thought I was missing something so I read the actual article and it claims (unless I did miss something) that the problem occurs whether you use Bitlocker or not.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:03PM (#24410593) Journal
    Just like most other Microsoft/Windows topics on Slashdot, people seem to miss a huge portion of the picture. Maybe most of you guys are geeks living in your basements, or consultants running small businesses on your own hardware. If that is the case then this isn't directed at you because you don't have the perspective for it to be on your radar.

    Software like Vista Ultimate with BitLocker is aimed at the corporate environment. If I'm a network admin, I don't want some jack hole dual-booting anything on my network. He doesn't need a Linux partition on his workstation. I might want laptops with TPM and BitLocker for the sales staff so that when they get drunk and lose their laptops with the customer list on it, I can rest relatively soundly knowing that the data is secure.

    It is obvious that Microsoft does not care about the individual end user who wants complete control over their computer. That is okay with me. Maybe I've been drinking too much of the Kool Aid but I'm happy with HP hardware running a Microsoft OS. I like the fact that they make it a complete PITA for the end user to do anything to their workstation. It makes my job easier. 95% of the corporate computing world can get by with an office suite, a web browser and access to a couple of custom apps (financial, inventory, manufacturing, and what not). They don't need to be playing stolen mp3s that they got from Pirate Bay, watching DVDs on their lunch breaks, or dual-booting their damn desktops.

    Where are all the gripes about how Server 2003 sucks? How about the gripes about IIS6 getting owned all over the place? They aren't there because Microsoft is focusing their attention where they need to focus it... on the administrators responsible for hundreds and thousands of workstations and servers. Does anyone really think that the folks at Microsoft stay up late at night wringing their hands over corporation versions of their workstation software not dual-booting a third party OS? Seriously guys... what portion of the Vista Ultimate/Enterprise user base do you think is negatively impacted by the change? 1%? 3%? I'm not talking about the developers who need ten thousand OSes on their machines "for development purposes." I'm talking about the cubicle drones who work 8-5 running a couple of applications.

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