Cerberus is a NIST 800-193 compliant hardware root-of-trust with an identity that cannot be cloned. Cerberus is designed to further raise the security posture of Azure infrastructure by providing a strong anchor of trust for firmware integrity.
Enabling an anchor of trust
Every Cerberus chip has a unique cryptographic identity that is established using a signed certificate chain rooted to a Microsoft certificate authority (CA). Measurements obtained from Cerberus can be used to validate integrity of components such as:
- Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)
- All peripherals, including network interface card and system-on-a-chip (SoC)
This anchor of trust helps defend platform firmware from:
- Compromised firmware binaries running on the platform
- Malware and hackers that exploit bugs in the operating system, application, or hypervisor
- Certain types of supply chain attacks (manufacturing, assembly, transit)
- Malicious insiders with administrative privileges or access to hardware
Cerberus authenticates firmware integrity for server components using a Platform Firmware Manifest (PFM). PFM defines a list of authorized firmware versions and provides a platform measurement to the Azure Host Attestation Service. The Host Attestation Service validates the measurements and makes a determination to only allow trusted hosts to join the Azure fleet and host customer workloads.
In conjunction with the Host Attestation Service, Cerberus’ capabilities enhance and promote a highly secure Azure production infrastructure.
To learn more, see the Project Cerberus information on GitHub.
To learn more about what we do to drive platform integrity and security, see:
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