Secure Boot on STM32MP1

Secure boot is a key feature to guarantee a secure platform. STM32MP1 boot sequence supports a trusted boot chain that ensures that the loaded images are authenticated and checked in integrity before being used.

Our Implementation LmP uses U-Boot as the bootloader with TF-A BL2 being its first stage loader. The secure boot implementation will put the IC in a secure state accepting only signed TF-A BL2 firmware.

TF-A then boots the trusted execution environment - OP-TEE - where we run an ‘early’ trusted application, fiovb - Verified Boot. This trusted application provides secure access to the Replay Protected Memory Block partition in eMMC which is used to store keys, firmware and rollback information.

OP-TEE also prepares the next stage bootloader - U-Boot - and generates an overlay DTS for the Linux kernel consumption. U-boot also implements the fiovb command to validate the trusted application functionality. U-boot then jumps to the kernel entry point.

How to Secure the Platform

The first step is to generate the ECC key pair and commit the fuse table to the hardware. This can be done with the STM32 KeyGen tool, which is part of the STM32CubeProgrammer SDK software package.

Here is an example of generating a key pair using KeyGen tool:

$ cd STM32CubeProgrammer
STM32CubeProgrammer$ ./bin/STM32MP_KeyGen_CLI
                STM32MP Key Generator v2.10.0

STM32AP Key Generator [Version v2.10.0] <'-? for help>
Copyright (c) 2018 STMicroelectronics. All rights reserved.
Please enter Path for output files  < /tmp/ >
Please enter Password
Please re-enter your Password
Please select algorithm:  1. prime256v1   2. brainpoolP256t1 (1/2)?
Please select encrypting algorithm:  1. aes256   2. aes128 (1/2)?
Prime256v1 curve is selected.
AES_256_cbc algorithm is selected for private key encryption
Generating Prime256v1 keys...
Private key PEM file created
Public key PEM file created
public key hash file created
Keys generated successfully.
+ public key:       /tmp/publicKey.pem
+ private key:      /tmp/privateKey.pem
+ public hash key:  /tmp/publicKeyhash.bin

The tool also generates a third file containing the public key hash (PKH) that should be fused to OTP and used to authenticate the public key on the target. For more details refer to ST’s STM32 KeyGen tool guide.

To fuse the public key hash, copy it to the first FAT partition of your SD boot card. During the boot process stop in U-Boot console and run these commands:

=> mmc rescan
=> STM32MP> fatls mmc 0:4
   3007   boot.itb
     32   publicKeyhash.bin
=> load mmc 0:4 0xc0000000 publicKeyhash.bin
=> stm32key read 0xc0000000
Read KEY at 0xc0000000
OTP value 24: 1ce94f90
OTP value 25: 971d082f
OTP value 26: d443cf29
OTP value 27: f7c345d4
OTP value 28: 14873635
OTP value 29: b288ad40
OTP value 30: 38841b57
OTP value 31: b7a16954


Once the fuses have been programmed they can’t be modified.

Verify that stm32key command has printed valid key hashes, and if everything is correct fuse these values to OTP:

=> stm32key fuse 0xc0000000

The device now contains public key hashes to authenticate boot images. To validate, read back the OTP, using the same stm32key command:

=> stm32key read
OTP HASH 24: 1ce94f90 lock : 0
OTP HASH 25: 971d082f lock : 0
OTP HASH 26: d443cf29 lock : 0
OTP HASH 27: f7c345d4 lock : 0
OTP HASH 28: 14873635 lock : 0
OTP HASH 29: b288ad40 lock : 0
OTP HASH 30: 38841b57 lock : 0
OTP HASH 31: b7a16954 lock : 0
OTP 0: closed status: 0 lock : 0
HASK key is not locked!

Sign and Deploy the BL2 image

The FSBL binary (TF-A BL2) must be signed. STM32 Signing tool allows to fill the STM32 binary header that is parsed by the embedded software to authenticate each binary.

To sign the image run:

STM32CubeProgrammer$ ./bin/STM32MP_SigningTool_CLI -bin /build-lmp/deploy/images/stm32mp15-disco/arm-trusted-firmware/tf-a-stm32mp157c-dk2-sync -pubk /tmp/publicKey.pem -prvk /tmp/privateKey.pem -iv 5 -pwd qwerty123 -t fsbl
           STM32MP Signing Tool v2.10.0

Prime256v1 curve is selected.
Header version 1 preparation ...
Reading Private Key File...
ECDSA signature generated.
Signature verification:  SUCCESS
The Signed image file generated successfully:  /build-lmp/deploy/images/stm32mp15-disco/arm-trusted-firmware/tf-a-stm32mp157c-dk2-sdcard_Signed.stm32

Validate that signature and sign info (algo etc.) were added to the image:

STM32CubeProgrammer$ ./bin/STM32MP_SigningTool_CLI -dump /build-lmp/deploy/images/stm32mp15-disco/arm-trusted-firmware/tf-a-stm32mp157c-dk2-sdcard_Signed.stm32
Magic: 0x53544d32
Signature: f1 f7 3e 73 35 38 a5 00 43 b2 78 fe cd 12 0a ec 39 2e 8a c7 60 35 f4 1f 7f 47 1a 99 11 8a 5b 07
           9e dc 1c 51 27 bc e2 e0 4c cf 23 6d 87 92 cb c9 a6 ea a1 7f b0 30 18 f4 73 d5 18 ef 50 c6 56 e3
Checksum: 0x6d09b9
Header version: 0x10000
Size: 0x36fd1
Load address: 0x2ffc2500
Entry point: 0x2ffe9000
Image version: 0x5
Option flags: 0x0
ECDSA Algo: 0x1
ECDSA pub key: f9 0e db 1b d6 91 a5 9d 9f d9 0a a8 63 f2 8b 4c ca 37 c6 65 48 e3 5b 5a 69 b8 8f a9 72 b1 3f 44
               01 df ae 4c cd 99 12 bc d3 fc 9b 30 7a 77 c5 2b f0 5b 01 f3 2e bb c3 71 db a4 40 93 2c 01 3f a2
Binary type: 0x10

To deploy signed image to the SD card existing non signed images must be replaced. That can be achieved with a simple dd command as well (instead of mmcblkx specify correct device):

$ sudo dd if=/build-lmp/deploy/images/stm32mp15-disco/arm-trusted-firmware/tf-a-stm32mp157c-dk2-sdcard_Signed.stm32 bs=1024 seek=17 of=/dev/mmcblkx
$ sudo dd if=/build-lmp/deploy/images/stm32mp15-disco/arm-trusted-firmware/tf-a-stm32mp157c-dk2-sdcard_Signed.stm32 bs=1024 seek=273 of=/dev/mmcblkx

Booting Signed Images

When a signed binary is used, the BootROM code will authenticate and start the FSBL, which will report authentication status:

NOTICE:  Model: STMicroelectronics STM32MP157C-DK2 Discovery Board
NOTICE:  Board: MB1272 Var2.0 Rev.C-01
NOTICE:  Bootrom authentication succeeded <------- auth confirmation

A Bootrom authentication succeeded message means that BootROM managed to authenticate the FSBL image and the device can be closed. If the device is not closed, it will be still able to perform image authentication, but will boot the image regardless of the result of that authentication.

Closing the Device

As soon as the authentication process is confirmed, the device can be closed and the user must use signed images.

OTP WORD0 bit 6 is the OTP bit that closes the device. Fusing this bit will lock authentication processing and force authentication from the BootROM. Non signed binaries will not be supported anymore on the target.

To close the device by fusing OTP WORD0 bit 6 run stm32key cmd in U-Boot:

=> stm32key close