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NXP Security Controller (SCCv2) - Linux driver
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NXP Security Controller (SCCv2) - Linux driver

The SCCv2 is a built-in hardware module for the NXP i.MX53 SoC that implements secure RAM and a dedicated AES cryptographic engine for encryption/decryption operations.

A device specific random 256-bit SCC key is fused in each SoC at manufacturing time, this key is unreadable and can only be used with the SCCv2 for AES encryption/decryption of user data.

This directory contains a Linux kernel driver for the SCCv2 and an additional interfacing module, which allocates character device /dev/scc2_aes for userspace encryption and decryption operations.

The kernel driver is a port of the original Freescale one for Linux 3.x with assorted bugfixes and the addition of a new separate character device driver.


Andrea Barisani |

Andrej Rosano |

Based on a driver from Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., additional thanks to Julian Horsch for its contribution to the port.


NOTE: USB armory users can automate Linux kernel compilation, along with the mxc-scc2 driver, using the Makefile (mxc-scc2 target) from its Debian base image repository.

The following instructions assume compilation on a native armv7 architecture, when cross compiling adjust ARCH and CROSS_COMPILE variables accordingly.

# the Makefile attempts to locate your Linux kernel source tree, if this fails
# it can be passed with a Makefile variable (e.g. `make KERNEL_SRC=path`)
git clone
cd mxc-scc2
make modules_install

Once installed the two resulting modules can be loaded in the traditional manner:

modprobe scc2     # SCCv2 driver
modprobe scc2_aes # character device driver for userspace access

The probing of the SCCv2 module depends on its Device Tree (dts) inclusion in running Linux kernel. The following example is taken from the USB armory dts which includes the SCCv2 device for its i.MX53 SoC:

	soc {
		aips@60000000 {
			scc2: scc2@63fb4000 {
				compatible = "fsl,imx53-scc2";
				reg = <0x63fb4000 0x4000>,
				      <0x07000000 0x4000>;
				interrupts = <21 23>;


IMPORTANT: the SCCv2 internal key is available only when Secure Boot (HAB) is enabled, otherwise the AES-256 NIST standard test key is set. The secure operation of the SCCv2, in production deployments, should always be paired with Secure Boot activation.

The scc2_aes module, when not in Secure State, issues the following warning at load time:

scc2_aes: WARNING - not in Secure State, NIST test key in effect

When Secure State is correctly detected the module issues following message at load time:

scc2_aes: Secure State detected

The following IOCTLs are defined for character device /dev/scc2_aes:

ioctl(file, SET_MODE, ENCRYPT_CBC)
  Sets AES-256 encryption with Cipher Block Chaining (CBC)

ioctl(file, SET_MODE, DECRYPT_CBC)
  Sets AES-256 decryption with Cipher Block Chaining (CBC)

ioctl(file, SET_IV, (char *) iv)
  Sets the Initialization Vector (IV), this is required only once before
  encryption/decryption. After the first block ciphersing the SCCv2
  internally updates the IV in CBC mode.

Once the mode and IV are set, plaintext/ciphertext can be sent to the SCCv2 for encryption/decryption by issuing a write() operation of 16-bytes blocks on /dev/scc2_aes, up to 256 blocks (4096 bytes) can be sent at once.

Each write() operation must be followed by a read() of the same size to read back the results, inconsistent operations will cause errors.

Example (psuedocode):

fd = open("/dev/scc2_aes", O_RDWR)

ioctl(fd, SET_IV, iv)

write(fd, plaintext, 4096)
read(fd, ciphertext, 4096)

write(fd, ciphertext, 4096)
read(fd, plaintext, 4096)

The INTERLOCK file encryption front-end supports the SCCv2 through this driver, providing a Go userspace implementation reference.

Another userspace example usage, with OpenSSL test comparison, is provided in the scc2_test Ruby script. The following reference output illustrates a test run on a USB armory without Secure Boot enabled. The OpenSSL and SCCv2 output comparison of the scc2_test script can only match on units that do not have HAB enabled.

NIST test AES-256 key:        603deb1015ca71be2b73aef0857d7781
initialization vector:        000102030405060708090a0b0c0d0e0f
plaintext:                    6bc1bee22e409f96e93d7e117393172a

ciphertext block 1 (OpenSSL): f58c4c04d6e5f1ba779eabfb5f7bfbd6
ciphertext block 1 (SCCv2):   f58c4c04d6e5f1ba779eabfb5f7bfbd6
ciphertext block 2 (OpenSSL): eb2d9e942831bd84dff00db9776b8088
ciphertext block 2 (SCCv2):   eb2d9e942831bd84dff00db9776b8088

 plaintext block 1 (OpenSSL): 6bc1bee22e409f96e93d7e117393172a
 plaintext block 1 (SCCv2):   6bc1bee22e409f96e93d7e117393172a
 plaintext block 2 (OpenSSL): 6bc1bee22e409f96e93d7e117393172a
 plaintext block 2 (SCCv2):   6bc1bee22e409f96e93d7e117393172a


NXP Security Controller (SCCv2) - Linux driver

Copyright (c) F-Secure Corporation Copyright (c) Inverse Path S.r.l. Copyright (c) 2004-2011 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation under version 3 of the License.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

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