TPM 2 Module Advice

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Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021

Today I am asking if anyone has any experience with those addon TPM boards for motherboards that do not have a TPM. It should be obvious I am asking due to Windows 11. It is unlikely that make much movement toward Windows 11 any time soon and I may never use Windows as my main os after 2028. I was using Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, but once I noticed that the LTSC was in my msdn, I switch to LTSC and I really like it. I use Kubuntu a good amount of time in a vm and I *maybe* could use something like that in 2028 when LTSC is out of service. I would say on Windows 7 if were not for Vmware Workstation 16, but that requires Win10. Someday the newest workstation might require 11. So, though I don't really want to upgrade, I want to know if I could if I wanted on this (my main) machine. My motherboard is a dual-socket Asus z10pe-d16, which does not have any tpm included, but does have what I understand is 20-1 pin connection for a TPM module. I think I could install a tpm 2 board because of this. I found the link below and it is in my amazon cart. All of the modules made by asus are sold out. Although I might not ever switch to Windows 11 as my main host OS, I can test install it once I get a TPM module as I am a big terabyte user. Also, I wonder if terabyte image will have any issues on Windows 11 due to TPM things, I really hope not.



There seem to be no end to the vendors selling TPM 2.0 'upgrades'. I say that, because having talked with someone knowledgeable in the TCG, they cautioned me that a proper TPM implementation would not have socketable/pluggable modules, because that could lead to MITM attacks (not like you couldn't do that with slicing board traces, I suppose - the only way to make it REALLY hard to mount MITM attacks of that sort would be to have the TPM 'inside' of the main micro. But then, I suppose it wouldn't be a TPM anymore, but more likely one of any number of embedded hardware protected secure environments, often going by proprietary names like TEE, HSM, SHE or SHE+, CSEC, etc. etc.

I had also asked about TPM 1.2 --> TPM 2.0 firmware upgrades and was told that is rather unlikely, because going to TPM 2.x means adding MEGAbytes of code vs. the relatively small memory footprint of TPM 1.2. Another subject entirely - how can you have a secure environment based on so much code? I thought the idea of a secure environment was to have simple, easy to maintain code, to avoid latent vulnerabilities in your trusted core.

It really seems that the best current upgrade path to Windows 11 is to purchase hardware that already has TPM 2.x support in it.