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posted by martyb on Monday June 20 2016, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the One-ring-to-bring-them-all-and-in-the-darkness-bind-them... dept.

From Damien Zammit, we have this fun little tidbit:

Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they'll expose all affected systems to nearly un-killable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I've made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it's too late.

The Intel Management Engine (ME) is a subsystem composed of a special 32-bit ARC microprocessor that's physically located inside the chipset. It is an extra general purpose computer running a firmware blob that is sold as a management system for big enterprise deployments.

When you purchase your system with a mainboard and Intel x86 CPU, you are also buying this hardware add-on: an extra computer that controls the main CPU. This extra computer runs completely out-of-band with the main x86 CPU meaning that it can function totally independently even when your main CPU is in a low power state like S3 (suspend).

On some chipsets, the firmware running on the ME implements a system called Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT). This is entirely transparent to the operating system, which means that this extra computer can do its job regardless of which operating system is installed and running on the main CPU.

The purpose of AMT is to provide a way to manage computers remotely (this is similar to an older system called "Intelligent Platform Management Interface" or IPMI, but more powerful). To achieve this task, the ME is capable of accessing any memory region without the main x86 CPU knowing about the existence of these accesses. It also runs a TCP/IP server on your network interface and packets entering and leaving your machine on certain ports bypass any firewall running on your system.

Yeah, and I'm sure they pinky-swear never to allow the NSA access to any computer via it. I'll be using AMD from now on, slower or not, thanks.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:58PM (#367219)

    >You really want me dead so badly? Shut your fucking yap and come find me and do it then.
    I have no idea who you are. I want you and people who are like you to be dead (those who entice us to follow something other than Deuteronomy: that is; those who are against men keeping female children whom they have raped as brides, those who are against the man as ba'al (master) of the female). One without the other would be pointless.

    >Your proxying isn't as foolproof as you think; it's not hard to figure out where you're posting from. Imagine what your boss would think if he sees all this crap you're spewing!
    There is this statement.

    >That assumes you're employed of course; I wouldn't be surprised if you're another worthless drain on society living off the dole.
    And then there is this statement.

    Wouldn't you know, if it were so easy?

    You also didn't answer my question about your "dumbass" quip:
    Also the fact that my opensource software project has reached release 90 and has over 100 weapons suggests against your notion that I am a "dumbass".
    What have you done for software-libre lately, cunt?