News

Microsoft Defends BitLocker, Issues SP2 Updates

Microsoft defended its BitLocker data encryption tool last week after a hack was demonstrated that might affect it.

A presenter at the Black Hat Washington, D.C. conference in early February had compromised the trusted platform module (TPM) in a machine. Microsoft leverages TPM hardware in conjunction with its BitLocker drive encryption tool to help protect data from unauthorized access in mobile PCs.

Windows security blogger Paul Cooke assured the public that the BitLocker encryption tool in Windows 7 is up to snuff.

"With our design for BitLocker in Windows 7, we took into account the theoretical possibility that a TPM might become compromised due to advanced attacks or because of poor designs and implementations," he wrote.

Cooke suggested that even the most sophisticated hackers will be thwarted due to the use of user-defined personal identification numbers (PINs) with BitLocker.

"The engineering team changed the cryptographic structure for BitLocker when configured to use enhanced PIN technology," Cooke stated, pointing to a BitLocker FAQ.  "As a result, an attacker must not only be able to retrieve the appropriate secret from the TPM, they must also find the user-configured PIN."

Microsoft apparently has had problems with some implementations of BitLocker. Last week, Microsoft reissued updates to help BitLocker work properly on Service Pack 2 versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

BitLocker was first released in January 2007 and is designed to guard data by encrypting files and tracking boot components, according to Microsoft's description. It's offered as a feature in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista. BitLocker is also available in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

Featured

  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager Improvements Highlighted at Ignite

    Improvements in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) management solution were part of Tuesday's Microsoft Ignite online event.

  • Green City Illustration

    Microsoft Ignite 2020 Reaction, Part 1: A New Normal for Tech Conferences

    Something about Satya Nadella's opening keynote makes Brien wonder if Microsoft thinks we'd all be better off doing everything -- including conferences like Ignite -- remotely, even after the pandemic is over.

  • Microsoft Ignite: Azure Advances Across Five Frontiers

    To kick off the Microsoft Ignite virtual conference, CEO Satya Nadella made a bold claim about the public cloud with the second-largest market share behind Amazon.

  • Microsoft Buying Games Maker ZeniMax Media for $7.5 Billion

    Microsoft is buying ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks and other game-maker affiliates, for $7.5 billion in cash.

comments powered by Disqus