MINIX: The Most Popular OS in the World, Thanks to Intel

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    If you have a modern Intel CPU (released in the last few years) with Intel’s Management Engine built in, you’ve got another complete operating system running that you might not have had any clue was in there: MINIX. That’s right. MINIX. The Unix-like OS originally developed by Andrew Tanenbaum as an educational tool — to demonstrate operating system programming — is built into every new Intel CPU.

    The first thing that jumps out at me here: This means MINIX (specifically a version of MINIX 3) is in all likelihood the most popular OS shipping today on modern Intel-based computers (desktops, laptops and servers). That, right there, is absolutely crazy. The second thing to make my head explode: You have zero access to “Ring -3” / MINIX. But MINIX has total and complete access to the entirety of your computer. All of it.
     
  2. BHenry

    BHenry Limp Gawd

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  3. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    I'd have to wonder if Android has more active "installs" than Intel ME chips worldwide.
     
  4. Chupachup

    Chupachup Limp Gawd

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    And just another reason not to by Intel:meh:
     
  5. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    Because AMD do not have an equiv... Oh wait they do.

    Via are probably the only x86/64 cpu manufacturer that does not have this. This needs to be stopped and since the industry won't regulate time for gov'n todo it.... Unless it is gov'n that forced the concept/backdoor in which case we are boned
     
  6. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    What's the AMD equivalent?
     
  7. Pieter3dnow

    Pieter3dnow [H]ardness Supreme

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    None.

    You would think that Intel by now would have known better then to try another version of what they tried to implement before, can not see this as something that would get their sales up and even if it did the headache of tracking the most important piece of software through all kinds of hacks is just an enormous headache.
     
  8. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    UEFI is technically an OS in it's own right as well.
     
  9. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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  10. You don't say?
     
  11. grtitan

    grtitan Telemetry is Spying on ME!

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    Among the things that this crap can do:

    "In addition, thanks to Minnich and his fellow researchers' work, MINIX is running on three separate x86 cores on modern chips. There, it's running:
    • TCP/IP networking stacks (4 and 6)
    • File systems
    • Drivers (disk, net, USB, mouse)
    • Web servers

    MINIX also has access to your passwords. It can also reimage your computer's firmware even if it's powered off. Let me repeat that. If your computer is "off" but still plugged in, MINIX can still potentially change your computer's fundamental settings.

    And, for even more fun, it "can implement self-modifying code that can persist across power cycles". So, if an exploit happens here, even if you unplug your server in one last desperate attempt to save it, the attack will still be there waiting for you when you plug it back in."


    Combine that with W10 and nvidia telemetry and we have absolutely zero privacy.

    Yes, the fanbois will say "how about google and facebook", not the same layers, but noted.
     
  12. Pieter3dnow

    Pieter3dnow [H]ardness Supreme

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    LOL maybe you need to learn to read :)
    There has been an ARM cpu inside AMD cpu which is not software ;) But software can be used to do what is described here but it is not on chip ..It simply uses the ARM cpu.
     
  13. Darakian

    Darakian [H]ardness Supreme

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    That arm core is undoubtedly running some software. AMD isn't just gonna stick an extra core into their chip and not have it do anything.
     
  14. Pieter3dnow

    Pieter3dnow [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can search for the in depth video itself somewhere on AMD where they describe how the feature works. The arm chip was not even used before while it was already in the cpu.

    On SEV it is explained how it functions exactly but it is nothing but a software solution accessing the arm core. http://developer.amd.com/amd-secure-memory-encryption-sme-amd-secure-encrypted-virtualization-sev/
     
  15. bigthoughts

    bigthoughts [H]Lite

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    edit:

     
  16. travisty

    travisty Gawd

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    The other plus in AMD's column is the fact that they're much more open with the inner workings of their chips than Intel.
     
  17. PaulP

    PaulP Gawd

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    Ha! I still have Tanenbaum's book on my shelf. Never thought anybody would actually use MINIX for anything serious though.
     
  18. Darakian

    Darakian [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'll look for that video, but I'm dubious that the arm core doesn't run some OS.