Author Topic: Intel ME Vulnerability  (Read 132 times)

Offline Hardhead

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Intel ME Vulnerability
« on: May 22, 2019, 01:56:34 am »
By exile360, Saturday at 04:26 PM in General Chat

For a long time security experts have warned about the dangers of using insecure software and hardware.  They tell us to never use simple passwords, never to write down our passwords, never leave our devices unlocked, and to always change the default administrator password on our routers and other devices.  But what if there was a device inside your CPU, the central 'brain' of your computer that was always on, even when the system is powered off, and what if I told you this device was inside every computer built in the last 11 or so years and that it was so secret and its code so obscured that security researchers can't even audit its code for potential vulnerabilities and that it has full access to your network devices and storage devices in your system, has the ability to power on your system remotely, and even access your hardware and data when no operating system is installed or running?  You would probably tell me that it's time to get my tinfoil hat resized because it's on a little too tight, right?  Well unfortunately not only is this a reality, but it has already had vulnerabilities discovered that could exploit it.

What I am referring to is a piece of technology called IME or the Intel Management Engine.  It is a piece of code that runs inside a chip inside every Intel CPU and it was designed to allow remote control of every Intel based PC.  Unfortunately even if you're using an AMD processor you still have something like this, except they call it 'TrustZone' (a rather ironic name in my opinion :P).

Well, as has been a theme lately, a new vulnerability has been discovered in Intel's Management Engine and the only way to patch it is through a firmware update.  This can be done manually, but it isn't very straightforward, especially if your OEM/system manufacturer hasn't supplied a patch (most don't for these kinds of vulnerabilities unfortunately, especially for older systems).  For those who wish to attempt patching it on your own, you'll find all the tools and instructions required at the Win-Raid Forum here.  They have links to downloads for all of the required tools to check your ME version and the utilities from Intel to patch it along with the latest firmware versions.  That said, if you do intend to patch as I did, BE CAREFUL and read the instructions and information in that post very carefully as there is no one size fits all firmware and you could easily brick your system if you do the wrong thing; sadly the only alternative is to remain vulnerable to potential ME exploits

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