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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 …



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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:56PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:56PM (#606430)

    Hey, I didn't STUDY the boot screens. I like DrDos

    I liked it, too, enough to buy it to use instead of Microsoft's then-inferior DOS. (Seriously. A fair number of MS-DOS "innovations" were direct feature-copying from DR-DOS.) I'm pretty sure the box, manual and diskette labels all clearly read "Digital Research". No boot-screen studying needed.

    Now you've got me wondering about the boot screens... DR-DOS 7.03 reads "Caldera DR-DOS", but that dates from after Novell and then Caldera owned it. I'll have to dig out my DR-DOS 5 and 6 disks to see what it read back when it was still owned by Digital Research.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:18AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:18AM (#606513)

    I'll follow you down that rabbit hole. I've got a set of DR DOS 6.0 disks here (note: no hyphen) that are clearly labelled Digital Research. When you boot it up, the copyright notice shown is for DR DOS Release 6.0 and it's copyright Digital Research, Inc.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:32AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:32AM (#606572) Journal

      Thank you. I didn't remember the hyphen noted by AC. I did misremember the Dr vs DR. Most DOS's ran their names together, such as TRSDOS and MSDOS, but it seemed to me that DR DOS had a space.

      Looking back, I can't remember how many DOS's there were, or how many of them were just licensed versions of DR DOS, or any other version.

      We didn't start the fire . . . but we took our turns at tending the fire.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @04:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @04:07AM (#606632)

        You're not alone. I had a couple of friends at the time who would refer to it in speech as Doctor DOS. They were subject to numerous eye-rolls. I remember someone else referring to Microsoft's product as Ms. DOS ("Miz DOS") when Doctor DOS was mentioned.