How Intel wants to backdoor every computer in the world | Intel Management Engine explained

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The Hated One

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Shared April 7, 2019

Intel embeds Management Engine into all of its computers since 2008. Intel Management Engine has been criticized for its security risks and has been called a backdoor with rootkit possibilities by many security experts and researchers.


This is Intel Management Engine. A subsystem microprocessor that’s operating inside every Intel CPU platform made from 2008 onward.
Despite its name and some basic functions, we don’t know anything about what Intel Management really does.

What we do know is that this microcontroller works completely independently from the main CPU. It can’t be manually removed or disabled. Even if the main computer is powered off, as long as it is plugged in to the mains or the battery, IME will continue to run.
Intel Management Engine is a computer within a computer. It is running it’s own operating system, called Minix, and is installed by default on every modern computer with an Intel CPU. This probably makes Minix the most widely used operating system in the world. But unlike Windows, Mac OS or Linux, Minix is completely outside of user control. It cannot be scanned by an antivirus or malware detection software. It can bypass any firewall configuration and has a dedicated network connection that can circumvent the main CPU and the main operating system.

Sources and further reading
https://www.slideshare.net/codeblue_j...
https://www.howtogeek.com/334013/inte...

Intel Management Engine security problems
https://boingboing.net/2016/06/15/int...
https://www.csoonline.com/article/322...
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-...
https://www.zdnet.com/article/intel-w...
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/05...
https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/48429.html
https://www.wired.com/story/intel-man...
https://www.zdnet.com/article/compute...
https://www.zdnet.com/article/minix-i...
https://www.networkworld.com/article/...
https://www.fsf.org/blogs/sysadmin/th...
https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/i...

https://www.zdnet.com/article/researc...
Purism's approach to Intel ME https://puri.sm/learn/intel-me/
https://puri.sm/posts/deep-dive-into-...
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