Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Jul 2017 19:44 UTC

In the last year while talking to respected security-focused engineers & developers, I've come to fully appreciate Google's Chrome OS design. The architecture benefited from a modern view of threat modeling and real-world attacks. For example, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware chips are built into every Chromebook and deeply incorporated into the OS. The design documents go into some detail on the specific protections that TPM provides, particularly around critical encryption functions.

I also learned that Chromebook is the daily driver for many of Google's own senior developers and security engineers. In short, the combination of the underlying Chromebook hardware with the OS architecture makes for a pretty compelling secure development environment.


It's pretty neat to consider the possibility of pre-travel "power washing" (resetting everything clean to factory settings) on an inexpensive Chromebook and later securely restore over the air once at my destination. Since there is a wide range in Chromebook prices, the engineering challenge here was to find something powerful enough to comfortably use exclusively for several days of coding, writing, and presenting, but also cheap enough that should it get lost/stolen/damaged, I wouldn't lose too much sleep. The threat model here does not include recovery from physical tampering; if the machine were somehow confiscated or otherwise out of my custody, I could treat it as a burner and move on.

Interesting guide on how to turn an inexpensive Chromebook into a burner developer device safe for international travel.

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RE[3]: cloud based
by BlueofRainbow on Sun 30th Jul 2017 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cloud based"
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No matter how big is the hard/solid state drive, it will sooner or later be full. At that time, one has to use a flash memory card, an external drive, or a network drive.

Most chromebooks have a SDHC slot. The smaller uSDHC slot is starting to be common in the most recent crop of devices coming to market.

There is also the USB 3.0/3.1/C port allowing an external drive.

Ultimately, there is the cloud - although I would prefer using a memory card/external drive so as not to be paying bandwidth and storage fees associated with the cloud.

So, it is possible to go beyond the finite capacity of the internal hard/solid state drive.

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