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[–] SuperConductiveRabbi 4 points 91 points (+95|-4) ago  (edited ago)

Not that it changes the impact, but none of this is new information, nor evidence that he really was at Intel. It just sounds like someone who wants us to pay attention to how our CPUs are backdoored by wrapping it in a common story format. Check our the Intel vPro chips, which have a built-in 3G modem; your computer can be remotely controlled anywhere there's cell coverage. This has been known since at least 2013. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Secret-3G-Radio-in-Every-Intel-vPro-CPU-Could-Steal-Your-Ideas-at-Any-Time-385194.shtml

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[–] go1dfish 1 points 39 points (+40|-1) ago 

As usual, ^ this guy gets it.

Also there is no proof of shit there, a real devastating leak of an Intel backdoor like this would need more significant documentation or proof. I mean we're only talking about the most widely deployed general computing chips in the world here.

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[–] OhBlindOne 0 points 25 points (+25|-0) ago 

Best practice is to assume that most big technology corporations are working in some way with the US intelligence agencies to backdoor your crap.

It's no surprise either. The US has been interesting in domestic spying since the cold war. We have dozens of "intelligence" agencies who employ hundreds and thousands of incredibly smart developers and engineers who's sole job is to build tools to spy on the people.

As far as anyone's concerned, AMD probably backdoors their chips as well.

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[–] malloryquinn 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Here is the sales brochure from 2011. Read it, it's far far worse.

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[–] jerry 7 points 3 points (+10|-7) ago 

On top of all that, it was posted to 4chan and the first rule of 4chan is that nothing on it is real. It might be, but its just as likely to assume that its anon having fun roleplaying as a nerdy code guy at intel

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[–] ColorMeOffended 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

4chan blows me away constantly with some of the stuff that has gone on. I wouldn't dismiss anything solely because it's from 4chan.

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[–] TahTahBur 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Hey @jerry, nice to see your skeptical commenting continue the downplay on top comments.

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[–] im_the_dude_man 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Yeah, and the information they gave makes it sound very easy to figure out who they are. Making it sound not so anonymous.

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[–] ninjai 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

This is what I keep telling people who think smart Tv's with mics and cameras are cool. I don't care if you don't join that shit to your Wi-Fi. Your neighbors open Wi-Fi network or a built in cell chip are the crux of it all.

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[–] InDifferent 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

After hearing about all of these backdoors, the only real question I have is, is it possible to "have our cake and eat it too"? Can we have our Google Homes and Samsung TVs with all the bells and whistles and be sure that they aren't spying on us? It feels like the only option now is to throw away all of our convenient tech to be sure we aren't being tracked in some way.

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[–] Schrodingers_Spy 0 points 18 points (+18|-0) ago 

Reverse engineer it for your own use. Arduino and Pi are great for this purpose. Build your own convenience, then use it to spy on your family.

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[–] mrgreenjeans9 0 points 9 points (+9|-0) ago 

i'd rather spy on your family

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[–] Subtenko 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

This is what I was gonna post and here you are the next comment I read with the same idea....go figure.... :D

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[–] AmpleMammal 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Doubtful, if your going to use these, at least segregate these items onto a ¨guest¨ network (they can still collect data and send out, but it will be harder to leverage said device to gain access to internal network). However even if you could do something to keep these devices under your control, unless it was plug and play most people are NOT going to go through the effort. However, we should not support these companies in the mean time. Its not just Google homes or Samsung tvs either, its IoT Dildoes, its children's toys, its IP cameras, fridges...... fuck look at Shodan. If its connected to the internet, its a liability for privacy. If you want a smart TV i recommend a Rasberry Pi w/ Kodi, but beyond that do we really need everything connected to the internet?

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[–] Donbuster 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I mean, you could set up your network with a firewall in front of your router and keep very very close watch on what each device is sending and receiving. If its superfluous, block the connection. Less effort than reverse engineering it, but likely more effort than not using the tech to begin with

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[–] Fagtardicus 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

would it be possible to identify the bug and rip it out?

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[–] GIF-lLL-S0NG 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Not without a microchip factory. You know how they build multiple chips on one processor socket (dual/quad/multicore) ? One i5 or i7 chip has billions of indivdual parts. moding/disabling it would be impossible without the technology used to make them in the first place. The other problem is the plastic "packaging" that surrounds the chip. Suppose you were able to take it apart and locate the "bug" you still have to put it all back together, without damaging it, introducing a couple pieces of dust or cutting the wrong wires. Who knows if there is a trigger so if you did remove it (or a nationstate did) the processor will no longer boot or be unstable.

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[–] 1F4A9 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Physically, no, but it would be possible to disable it by software if you have the cryptographic signing key. Intel chips could run just fine without the ME, but shut down after a few minutes if they notice it isn't running. It kinda works like the DRM chips in video game consoles, but more advanced. Someone could free the world by leaking the Intel source code and keys.

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[–] anglosaxon 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Why do you think they're called Intel?

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[–] BobBelcher 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

Is that it? Because nothing was revealed there that wasn't already known except for the project names which could be made up anyway.

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[–] greyhat399321 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago  (edited ago)

For older intel chips, the ME can be completely neutered using Libreboot or Coreboot - IBM Thinkpads and others are popular targets. I believe the 13 inch Pureism laptop also supports it, and has the added benefit of physical switches to turn the camera, mic, and blutooth/wifi off.

It really is too bad to see that the POWER8 talos project didn't make it. I hope that the newer RISC projects succeed in the future.

Another standalone tool for newer Intel Chips, me_cleaner, is now available too. Aside from standalone use on Linux/BSD users' machines for privacy, coreboot/libreboot have also adopted it to take their fully open source bios/efi replacement into the future for newer hardware. To use me_cleaner, you have to extract your CPU's microcode, either directly or from a bios update. Then, you run me_cleaner to modify the intel microcode inside, and proceed and flash to the CPU with the bios update, or using the built in functionality the Linux kernel has, which can re-flash the microcode every boot if you want it to.

More recently, AMD has expressed open sourcing their PSP (backdoor like ME) as a potential option.

Relevant info below.

Other things to remember are that despite all this, hard drive/ssd controllers, mouse/trackpad/periphrial/misc chips and controllers all still run proprietary blobs. Likewise implants exist that aren't really perceptible to the naked eye. Furthermore, with airgap expoits varying from USB/cdrom based exfiltration, to infrasound and EM based exfiltration (and encryption key stealing out of the air this way), there's nothing truly safe, but there certainly is "safer"

Another consideration should be that there's no such thing as privacy with a mobile phone or anything using cell networks even if you ignore dirt boxes and fake towers...aside from triangulation nobody owns the baseband processor, except for the manufacturer and the governments...and wifi can be used to track people even without devices as now 2.4 ghz signals can be used to generate 3d renderings of people moving around...

It may all sound tinfoil-hatty but it is sadly true.

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[–] Tancred 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Is there a potential for bricking your CPU when you flash the microcode? (I didn't even know you could do that)

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[–] greyhat399321 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Very doubtful at this point in time, as long as you have a cpu listed on the status page as supported. You're more likely to brick your motherboard if you use the bios method, but this method is nice as you can remove the TCP/IP stack from your UEFI bios, amongst other nasties if they are there like computrace, too.

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[–] AmpleMammal 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

We already know this, this is why we need to look into open source hardware, like Bunnies Novena Here is a somewhat technical breakdown of the capabilities surveillance state

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[–] MarthaFuckinStewart 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

So everyone knows AMD's new Zen processors (and FM2+) have PSP which is pretty much the same thing as ME.

It is impossible to disable ME in intel's "core" series 2008+ hardware.

"but purism!"

Companies like purism that purport to do this are lying - you simply can't. Google has tried to get intel to release the source and a flashing method with no luck, if they can't do it then nobody can. The computers the sell may have "coreboot" but it is simply a wrapper layer, closed source binary blobs (FSP, MRC, etc) do all the hardware initialization. They could have sold quality new AMD FM2 laptops but instead they obsess over intel - why?

The newest x86-64 laptop without a black box supervisor processor that you can buy is the lenovo g505s (2013)

The newest owner controlled x86-64 desktop/workstation/server is the kgpe-d16 and kcma-d8 motherboards which are both blob free coreboot, they use the g34/c32 opterons that don't have PSP - AMD's AM3+ FX-8xxx series also doesn't have PSP and of course you can play games on them.

There is also the novena project, but that isn't part of the cult of x86.

If you have money to spend there is also POWER and (some) ARM computers (there are ATX format ARM computers with pcie slots now like the gigabyte MP30). $5K for a POWER server/workstation is reasonable for the level of computing power you get (it isn't meant to replace grandmas dell.)

If you care - ask AMD to release either source code and a flashing mechanism (remove hardware signing key enforcement) or a real hardware method to disable PSP and remove it entirely from the boot process for their new processors "Zen"

https://libreboot.org/amd-libre/

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[–] 1F4A9 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Purism isn't claiming their laptops have disabled ME's, but they are being misleading by saying that for the ME to work as spyware, it needs an Intel network card (which Purism laptops haven't). This is bullshit, the ME has access to all hardware. Another thing that should raise a red flag on this company is that it's based in the United States. If you're serious about providing uncompromised hardware, you can't do it from a country that by law requires you cooperate with their spying, and shut up about it.

Unfortunately there is no guarantee POWER or ARM computers don't have similar issues. I woudn't be suprised if all major chip vendors are in bed with the intelligence agencies. If I were them, the second company after Intel I'd target is Qualcomm, which provides most of the ARM chips.

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[–] b0utch 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Beside naming things, there's nothing new to this...

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[–] Subtenko 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

spread da awaweness

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