I’m very new to 96 Boards. I was advised to look into these products by an individual who posted to a Raspberry Pi forum topic I started. The Pi topic was in respect of establishing “secure computing” for business purposes (see the forum topic posts here).
I’m looking for a “Raspberry Pi”-type computer, because of the security advantages I perceive to be present in Pi computers. After learning about the closed-source blobs in the Pi firmware and/or OS, and being advised about the beneficial open-source nature of your products, I gradually started thinking that a 96 Boards product might be better.
The thing that is stopping me, is trust. Some of the trust I have in the Rasp Pi products is due to their wide use, and their likely easy availability from physical stores. I’m not sure whether the same holds true with the 96 Boards products.
It being likely possible to pick randomly one Rasp Pi unit from amongst others on a physical shelf whilst visiting a physical store, and whilst at all times making sure the unit doesn’t get replaced with another hoax kind of unit, according to my thoughts, helps to overcome the MITM attacks described in this topic’s title. See more about these thoughts published here.
I’m wondering whether perhaps I can physically visit the “home” of 96 Boards in Cambridge, and get one of their units “straight from source”, and so to some extent overcome such MITM attacks. Does anyone know whether this is possible?
But even if I did that, how can I arrive at some level of confidence where I’m confident that the hardware and software likely has no backdoors and/or other kinds of “maltech”? Could anyone perhaps help me to figure out how I might arrive at such confidence? I suppose I can download photos of how the units look, and do some visual comparison to make sure what I have looks like what it should be. But 96 Boards seems relatively unknown, and so could their units perhaps use obscure chips that have backdoors, that simply wouldn’t be present if “well-known” and commonly-used chips were used? What about trusting 96 Boards themselves? What if they are an outfit front for the government intelligence services, and are placing backdoors in their products (see the Crypto AG scandal on Wikipedia)?
Please don’t take any offence regarding these comments. I’m just trying to reach that confidence level that will enable me not to have security concerns over these products, and I’m sure people will understand the legitimacy of general users trying to do the same.