My new test machine: AMI has ROM Utilities and source-level diagnostic and debug tools to identify issues and make changes directly at the source code level. In another, ” Exploring and exploiting Lenovo firmware secrets “, I’ve shown how to achieve flash write protection bypass using any vulnerability that allows arbitrary System Management Mode code execution. Two previous articles were about my Lenovo ThinkPad Ts laptop. AMI’s expertise from board-level design to network and storage management solutions delivers products that span the entire computing infrastructure. No source code access?
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My aimful life: Exploiting AMI Aptio firmware on example of Intel NUC
This blog post is another usual article about firmware security of x86 compatible machines. The horrible and vulnerable by design piece of code was removed by Intel somewhere in the middle ofbut it seems that there were no security advisories regarding this issue.
Superior Development Environment AMI’s Visual eBIOS VeB is ethenret for Aptio development, with integrated source control, project management and easy changes to project parameters, configurations and more through intuitive wizards. Significant drawback of this approach — it will likely not work on the platforms which have properly integrated Intel BootGuard. AMI has ROM Utilities and source-level diagnostic and debug tools to identify issues and make changes directly at the source code level.
So, everything what we need — do some reverse engineering and write some code to prove it, sounds easy. Also, this time I did responsible disclosure to Intel and AMI, so, at the moment of this publication you already can patch some of vulnerable products. Aptio makes projects easy to migrate, easy to maintain and easy to add new features, thanks to its modular structure, powerful tools and utilities, integrated development environment, and global support network. AMI’s expertise from board-level design to network and storage management solutions delivers products that span the entire computing infrastructure.
On platforms where PRx flash write protection is not available — attacker can use any arbitrary SMM code execution vulnerability like ThinkPwn to overwrite the whole platform firmware with malicious code in relatively easy way.
AMI simplifies BIOS development as the only BIOS vendor with a complete array of end-to-end products, tools and services to support the entire computing infrastructure and provide ethetnet benefits to manufacturers of server aji-aptio, embeddedtabletclient and ARM products.
To get such list we have two main options: The DB handler DebugExceptionHandler restores the original page table entry in order to catch the page fault exception again. Simplified Diag, Debug and Modifications No source code access? In another, ” Exploring and exploiting Lenovo firmware secrets “, I’ve shown how to achieve flash write protection bypass using any vulnerability that allows arbitrary System Management Mode code execution. What does it mean from the practical side? This exact code is not available in public, but open source firmware of some Intel boards has it too.
Incorrect system BIOS settings may cause a system to malfunction, fail to boot, or operate with decreased performance. Lots of interesting things happened since release of ThinkPwn exploit.
American Megatrends Inc. – American Megatrends Adds RNDIS Network Driver Support in Aptio V
However, there was at least one interesting security feature in this Intel NUC: Incorrect BIOS settings may affect system stability and functionality. Then the root PF handle PageFaultIdtHandlerSmmProfile enables ethernrt single step debug exception and returns to the original instruction The original code can execute one instruction and then triggers a debug exception DB.
However, there are lots of machines with broken and incomplete BootGuard implementation that checks only PEI volume integrity and allows modifications of DXE volume, so, you can try your luck with SMM backdoor in any case. I’ve mentioned this security feature in my previous articles, but never met its support in firmwares of real products before.
The Aptio Advantage
To use FTH Mini Module as SPI flash programmer you have to install flashrom tool and connect target flash chip to the board like shown in this table: AMI’s Visual eBIOS VeB is tailor-made for Aptio development, with integrated source control, project management and easy changes to project parameters, configurations and more through intuitive wizards.
Definitely, this weird tradition looks like amia-ptio birth injury of whole AMI Aptio platform including the most recent fifth amia-ptio. My new test machine: It also looks interesting because platform vendor knows his hardware better than anyone else, so, from firmware security perspective, Intel NUC is definitely not the worst choice.
But first things first! No source code access? Two previous articles were about my Lenovo ThinkPad Ts laptop.
AMI partners with key industry leaders to debug and validate their silicon and ensure that AMI platforms are logo-ready. Of course, we can read platform firmware except Management Engine region without any specialized hardware just using CHIPSEC, but writing modified firmware back to the SPI flash chip on motherboard where it resides will require some hardware ethednet in any case: