Phew... the document is certainly tortuous, and has a large number of
similarly and confusingly named credentials, certificates and keys,
however from what I can tell this is what is going on:

Summary: I think the endorsement key and it's hardware manufacturers
certificate is generated at manufacture and is not allowed to be
changed.  Changing ownership only means (typically) deleting old
identities and creating new ones.

The longer version...

- endorsement key generation and certification - There is one
endorsement key per TPM which is created and certified during
manufacture.  The creation and certification process is 1) create
endorsement key pair, 2) export public key endorsement key, 3)
hardware manufacturer signs endorsement public key to create an
endorsement certificate (to certify that that endorsement public key
belongs to this TPM), 4) the certificate is stored in the TPM (for
later use in communications with the privacy CA.)

- ownership - Then there is the concept of ownership.  The spec says
the TPM MUST ship with no Owner installed.  The owner when he wishes
to claim ownership choose a authentication token which is sent into
the TPM encrypted with the endorsement key.  (They give the example of
the authentication token being the hash of a password).  Physical
presence tests apply to claiming ownership (eg think BIOS POST with no
networking enabled, or physical pin on motherboard like BIOS flash
enable).  The authentication token and ownership can be changed.  The
TPM can be reset back to a state with no current owner.  BUT _at no
point_ does the TPM endorsement private key leave the TPM.  The
TPM_CreateEndorsementKeyPair function is allowed to be called once
(during manufacture) and is thereafter disabled.

- identity keys - Then there is the concept of identity keys.  The
current owner can create and delete identities, which can be anonymous
or pseudonymous.  Presumably the owner would delete all identity keys
before giving the TPM to a new owner.  The identity public key is
certified by the privacy CA.

- privacy ca - The privacy CA accepts identity key certification
requests which contain a) identity public key b) a proof of possession
(PoP) of identity private key (signature on challenge), c) the
hardware manufacturers endorsement certificate containing the TPM's
endorsement public key.  The privacy CA checks whether the endorsement
certificate is signed by a hardware manufacturer it trusts.  The
privacy CA sends in response an identity certificate encrypted with
the TPM's endorsement public key.  The TPM decrypts the encrypted
identity certifate with the endorsement private key.

- remote attestation - The owner uses the identity keys in the remote
attestation functions.  Note that the identity private keys are also
generated on the TPM, the private key also never leaves the TPM.  The
identity private key is certified by the privacy CA as having been
requested by a certified endorsement key.

The last two paragraphs imply something else interesting: the privacy
CA can collude with anyone to create a virtualized environment.  (This
is because the TPM endorsement key is never directly used in remote
attestation for privacy reasons.)  All that is required to virtualize
a TPM is an attestation from the privacy CA in creating an identity

So there are in fact three avenues for FBI et al to go about obtaining
covert access to the closed space formed by TCPA applications: 

(A) get one of the hardware manufacturers to sign an endorsement key
generated outside a TPM (or get the endorsement CA's private key), or

(B) get a widely used and accepted privacy CA to overlook it's policy
of demanding a hardware manufacturer CA endorsed endorsement public
key and sign an identity public key created outside of a TPM (or get
the privacy CA's private key).

(C) create their own privacy CA and persuade an internet server they
wish to investigate the users of to accept it.  Create themselves a
virtualized client using their own privacy CA, look inside.

I think to combat problem C) as a user of a service you'd want the
remote attestation of software state to auditably include it's
accepted privacy CA database to see if there are any strange "Privacy
CAs" on there.

I think you could set up and use your own privacy CA, but you can be
sure the RIAA/MPAA will never trust your CA.  A bit like self-signing
SSL site keys.  If you and your friends add your CA to their trusted
root CA database it'll work.  In this case however people have to
trust your home-brew privacy CA not to issue identity certificates
without having seen a valid hardware-endorsement key if they care
about preventing virtualization for the privacy or security of some
network application.

Also, they seem to take explicit steps to prevent you getting multiple
privacy CA certificates on the same identity key.  (I'm not sure why.)
It seems like a bad thing as it forces you to trust just one CA, it
prevents web of trust which could reduce your chances of getting
caught in attack scenarios B) and C) by demanding multiple

This section from the spec on trusting the privacy CA is interesting

section 8.3.1 p 195
| A TPM identity key may be used to certify non-migratable keys but is
| not permitted to certify migratory keys. As such, it allows the TPM
| to make the statement this key is held in a TCPA-shielded location,
| and it will never be revealed.  For this statement to have veracity,
| the Challenger must trust the policies used by the Privacy CA that
| issued the identity and the maintenance policy of the TPM
| manufacturer.

(not sure what the maintenance policy of the TPM is or what it has to
do with trusting privacy CAs -- it is not otherwise discussed).

also the text on p268 relates to trusting the privacy CA.

Below is some text from the spec which tends to confirm the above.

(Anonymous may have some comments as he seemed to have read the TCPA
spec in more detail than I have.)

Here is an indicative quote from the spec:

informative comment:

| section 5.11 TPM Ownership p 133
| "The function to insert the owner must provide the following:
| Confidentiality. The shared secret (or authorization data) must remain
| confidential to all eavesdroppers that intercept any of the
| messages. The confidentiality comes from encrypting the shared secret
| using the TPM PUBEK. The Owner trusts that only the TPM has the PRIVEK
| that can decrypt the shared secret.

normative text:

| The TPM MUST ship with no Owner installed. The TPM MUST use the
| ownership-control protocol.

Anyway Occam's razor suggests that the intent is:

1. the TPM endorsement private key never leaves the TPM

2. the identity private keys never leave the TPM

3. the privacy CA will never issue identity private keys unless the
request is made in relation to a manufacturer certified endorsement
public key.

Note: The endorsement key has key usage restrictions and is marked as
encrypt only, so the assurance the privacy CA gets is not that it
receives a identity certificate request signed by the endorsement
private key, but rather that the issued certificate is encrypted with
the endorsement public key and so could only be decrypted by the TPM
which contains the corresponding private endorsement key.  (I suppose
the motivation might have been that then the privacy CA couldn't prove
to third parties that your endorsement key and identity key are bound


On Wed, Aug 14, 2002 at 03:10:44PM -0700, Joseph Ashwood wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ben Laurie" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > Joseph Ashwood wrote:
> > > There is nothing stopping a virtualized version being created.
> > What prevents this from being useful is the lack of an appropriate
> > certificate for the private key in the TPM.
> Actually that does nothing to stop it. Because of the construction of TCPA,
> the private keys are registered _after_ the owner receives the computer,
> this is the window of opportunity against that as well. The worst case for
> cost of this is to purchase an additional motherboard (IIRC Fry's has them
> as low as $50), giving the ability to present a purchase. The
> virtual-private key is then created, and registered using the credentials
> borrowed from the second motherboard. Since TCPA doesn't allow for direct
> remote queries against the hardware, the virtual system will actually have
> first shot at the incoming data. That's the worst case. The expected case;
> you pay a small registration fee claiming that you "accidentally" wiped your
> TCPA. The best case, you claim you "accidentally" wiped your TCPA, they
> charge you nothing to remove the record of your old TCPA, and replace it
> with your new (virtualized) TCPA. So at worst this will cost $50. Once
> you've got a virtual setup, that virtual setup (with all its associated
> purchased rights) can be replicated across an unlimited number of computers.
> The important part for this, is that TCPA has no key until it has an owner,
> and the owner can wipe the TCPA at any time. From what I can tell this was
> designed for resale of components, but is perfectly suitable as a point of
> attack.
>                     Joe
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