Swissbit Secure Boot for Raspberry Pi Relies on MicroSD Card and optional USB Stick

Swissbit secure boot solution for Raspberry Pi consists of an 8GB or 32GB “PS-45u DP” Micro SD card pre-loaded with their secure firmware, and offering the following key features:

  • Security policies with flexible and configurable authentication
  • Access protection with configurable retry counter
  • Protects Raspberry Pi boot loader
  • Encrypts user and boot code to protect license, know-how, and IP
  • The boot image can be set read-only to prevent unauthorized modification
  • Restricting the access to data on the card by various configurable security policies: PIN or USB or NET policy
  • Use 8GB PU-50n DP USB stick as 2nd authentication for secure boot
  • Works with Raspberry Pi 2 and 3B+ (I suppose Raspberry Pi 4 support should come soon enough)

Note that we previously wrote about an open-source Raspberry Pi 4 UEFI+ACPI firmware to make the board SBBR-compliant and support features such as UEFI secure boot, but Swissbit secure boot is completely unrelated and instead is a custom security and access control solution.

The main applications include IP protection & theft protection by locking MicroSD card and license control by providing a unique ID with NET policy. You then have three ways (aka policies) to control access to your Raspberry Pi:

  1. PIN input where you simply input a passcode before booting
  2. Authentication dongle where an additional secure USB stick is needed for 2FA.
  3. NET where an additional Raspberry Pi board fitted with PS-45u DP MicroSD server as an authentication server.
Click to Enlarge

Each policy has it own strength and supported features as shown in the table in the top right. If you don’t store your secure USB stick with your Raspberry Pi, the USB policy should also serve against theft protection, but obviously, if somebody gets both they’ll have access to your board.

You’ll find more details on the product page with datasheets, user manuals, and secure boot SDK. Swissbit PS-45u DP “Raspberry Pi” Edition 8GB is available on Mouser for $27.73.The 32GB version goes for $61.81, while PU-50n DP is offered for $58.87, but both are currently out of stock.

Thanks to TM for the tip.

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