• Requirement

    Verify the integrity of [Assignment: organization-defined security critical or essential software] using root of trust mechanisms or cryptographic signatures.

  • Discussion

    Verifying the integrity of the organization’s security-critical or essential software is an important capability since corrupted software is the primary attack vector used by adversaries to undermine or disrupt the proper functioning of organizational systems. There are many ways to verify software integrity throughout the system development life cycle. Root of trust mechanisms (e.g., secure boot, trusted platform modules, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface [UEFI]), verify that only trusted code is executed during boot processes. This capability helps system components protect the integrity of boot firmware in organizational systems by verifying the integrity and authenticity of updates to the firmware prior to applying changes to the system component and preventing unauthorized processes from modifying the boot firmware. The employment of cryptographic signatures ensures the integrity and authenticity of critical and essential software that stores, processes, or transmits, CUI. Cryptographic signatures include digital signatures and the computation and application of signed hashes using asymmetric cryptography, protecting the confidentiality of the key used to generate the hash, and using the public key to verify the hash information. Hardware roots of trust are considered to be more secure. This requirement supports 3.4.1e and 3.4.3.e. [FIPS 140-3] provides security requirements for cryptographic modules. [FIPS 180-4] and [FIPS 202] provide secure hash standards. [FIPS 186-4] provides a digital signature standard. [SP 800-147] provides BIOS protection guidance. [NIST TRUST] provides guidance on the roots of trust project.

More Info

  • Family

    System and Information Integrity
  • Protection Strategy

    • Penetration-Resistant Architecture

NIST 800-172A Assessment Guidance

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