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If a machine is periodically waking up to check for updates with Power Nap, does this also mean the disk encryption keys are always in RAM? If so, this makes a DMA attack against a "sleeping" Mac possible.

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How would this be different from normal sleep? –  Gerry Aug 5 '12 at 13:07
    
Certainly it's different than sleep-to-disk, isn't it? –  Reid Aug 8 '12 at 3:12
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2 Answers 2

In general, Apple disables FireWire DMA in states where the computer isn't unlocked for use. There were some states they missed early on (see Todd Garrison's description of the problem), but they tightened the access controls in 10.7.2 (see CVE-2011-3215 here).

Power nap adds a new DMA-should-be-disabled state, so there's a possibility that it might have reintroduced this vulnerability, but I would expect Apple to have handled this correctly. Unfortunately, I don't know of anyone who's actually tested it (and I don't have a power-nap-capable Mac myself).

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Unless Apple messed up and writes the keys or passphrase insecurely, then the Mac is no more vulnerable than when it is running or sleeping normally.

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