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posted by janrinok on Wednesday December 06 2017, @06:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-people-want dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

Linux computer vendor System76 announced this week that it will roll out a firmware update to disable Intel Management Engine on laptops sold in the past few years. Purism will also disable Intel Management Engine on computers it sells moving forward. Those two computer companies are pretty small players in the multi-billion dollar PC industry. …

... Intel's Management Engine is a hardware and software system designed to provide some remote management features. But it's come under criticism from privacy advocates, security researchers, and the free and open source software community.

That's because Intel Management Engine is basically a mystery. It's software that runs independently of a computer's operating system, which means that even if you wipe the OS, the Management Engine is still there. And there's no good way to know what it's doing.

The risks aren't just theoretical – Intel recently acknowledged a security vulnerability affecting nearly every PC that shipped with a 6th, 7th, or 8th-gen Intel Core processor. While the company is working with PC makers to roll out updates to patch that vulnerability, it wouldn't even exist if Intel hadn't bundled a feature many users don't need and won't use with its latest chips.

System76 are making a similar move:

System76 is one a handful of companies that sells computers that run Linux software out of the box. But like most PCs that have shipped with Intel’s Core processors in the past few years, System76 laptops include Intel’s Management Engine firmware. Intel recently confirmed a major security vulnerability affecting those chips and it’s working with …

Source: https://liliputing.com/2017/12/dell-also-sells-laptops-intel-management-engine-disabled.html

Source: https://liliputing.com/2017/11/system76-will-disable-intel-management-engine-linux-laptops.html


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:23PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:23PM (#606307)

    Also how can we know it really is ever disabled? We cannot.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:34PM (6 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:34PM (#606319) Journal
    "Also how can we know it really is ever disabled?"

    Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
    --
    "This font is your font, you can't see my font."
    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by DannyB on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:40PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:40PM (#606458)

      The Eunuchs savages said that circumcision status is not related to eunuch status as typically different organs are affected -- albeit they are very close together.

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      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:09AM (4 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:09AM (#606484) Journal
        >The penis and the penis are two different organs.

        Lolwut?
        --
        "This font is your font, you can't see my font."
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:31AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:31AM (#606571)

          Eunuch [wikipedia.org]:

          The term eunuch (/ˈjuːnək/; Greek: εὐνοῦχος)[1] generally refers to a man who has been castrated,[2] typically early enough in his life for this change to have major hormonal consequences. In Latin, the words eunuchus,[3] spado (Greek: σπάδων spadon),[4][5] and castratus were used to denote eunuchs.[6] [emphasis added]

          Circumcision [wikipedia.org]:

          Male circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. [emphasis added]

          Castration [wikipedia.org]:

          Castration (also known as gonadectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which an individual loses use of the testicles. [emphasis added]

          Apparently, you're unfamiliar with male physiology. Walter Peck [youtube.com], is that you?

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:09AM (2 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:09AM (#606598) Journal
            Yes, it's possible (inside the definition) to create a eunuch by simply removing the testicles. However the word is mostly associated with the Arab slave trade, and rightly so, they made lots and lots of eunuchs over a very long period of time. And they typically removed the entire penis.
            --
            "This font is your font, you can't see my font."
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:17AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:17AM (#606603)

              So that's how it happened is it, Walter?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:24AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @03:24AM (#606609)

              Yes, it's possible (inside the definition) to create a eunuch by simply removing the testicles. However the word is mostly associated with the Arab slave trade, and rightly so, they made lots and lots of eunuchs over a very long period of time. And they typically removed the entire penis.

              I'm thinking you're confused (not having a dick can do that, I guess), as it was the Chinese, not the Arabs who routinely removed the penis as well as the testicles when creating eunuchs.

              But I won't fault you for that. I'm sure you get plenty of grief from others, due to your near-constant blathering.

  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:58PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:58PM (#606394)

    Delid a mobile x86 designed to run without a fan and take a few before-and-after shots with a high-res IR thermal camera maybe?

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    compiling...