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List of UEFI vendors who care about security

Which UEFI vendors care — or at least may care — about security? The list (alphabetically) is shorter than you might expect:

AMD
AMI
Apple
Dell
Hewlett Packard Enterprises
HP Inc.
Insyde Software
Intel Corp.
Lenovo
Microsoft
Phoenix Technologies

Nobody else. If your vendor is not listed above, ask them why you should purchase a UEFI-based system from them.

The above list is from the list of vendors who have feedback mechanisms listed on the UEFI Forum’s security contact page.

http://uefi.org/security

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Who created the ACPI ASPT spec?

Re: https://firmwaresecurity.com/2015/12/08/fwts-adds-test-for-undocumented-aspt-acpi/

Earlier, the FWTS team thought this ACPI ASPT (ACPI System Performance Tuning) spec was from AMD.  AMD looked into it, and thinks it is probably from Intel, as does Insyde Software. Intel/anyone: Do you know who wrote the spec? If so, please leave a comment or send email. Thanks.

AMD comment:
Well, as far as I can tell, nobody at AMD knows about the ASPT table. First I asked the relevant specialists, then I asked everybody associated with BIOS. Nobody recognizes it as an AMD thing.
Then we found an IBV .txt file that listed a bunch of Intel-sounding platforms associated with ASPT. So, could you double check whether this is really being seen on AMD platforms, please?
Even if you do find it on some AMD platforms, I’m now pretty sure it’s not an AMD thing. It might be a proprietary ACPI table added by an OEM or and IBV. I believe proprietary tables are allowed by the ACPI spec.

and a later comment:
It’s actually a definition from another silicon vendor for their overclocking information. Since the table only shows up on systems that support overclocking, it only shows up on systems with fast graphics controllers. That’s might be why “AMD” is referenced.

Another comment from a firmware vendor (IFV):
I believe you would be better served by contacting any of your contacts at Intel Client.  I’m not saying they will document this table, but it’s clear to me by looking at our code, this is Intel’s table. Maybe the AMD false pointer is probably because most overclocking systems have non-integrated graphics?

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LinuxCon Europe UEFI Mini-Summit presentations available

Earlier this month, the UEFI Forum recently had a “Mini-Summit” at LinuxCon Europe. The presentations are now available online (so far just the slides, unclear if A/V will show up on Youtube later):

UEFI Mini-Summit at LinuxCon Europe: October 7, 2015

* UEFI Forum Update and Open Source Community Benefits – Mark Doran (Intel)
* What Linux Developers Need to Know About Recent UEFI Spec Advances – Jeff Bobzin (Insyde Software)
* LUV Shack: An Automated Linux Kernel and UEFI Firmware Testing Infrastructure – Matt Fleming (Intel)
* Goodbye PXE, Hello HTTP Boot – Dong Wei (HP)
* UEFI Development in an Open Source Ecosystem – Michael Krau (Intel)

More information (about halfway down the page, past the Youtube section):

http://www.uefi.org/learning_center/presentationsandvideos

 

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Insyde updates InsydeH2O and Supervyse

This week at Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Insyde Software announced support of Intel’s new “Innovation Engine”. Insyde has a Supervyse Systems Management product, as well as their InsydeH2O UEFI BIOS. Insyde announced that both of these products will fully-leverage Intel’s Innovation Engine, a newly-announced new processor and IO subsystem targeting data center platforms. Excerpting their press release:

“The Innovation Engine gives us tremendous opportunity to extend our BIOS and BMC product offerings,” said Stephen Gentile, Sr. Vice President, Strategy at Insyde Software. “More importantly, this powerful and open resource gives us a new framework for products targeted at next-generation data center servers,” added Gentile.

“The Innovation Engine is a new way that developers can tap Intel technology to improve the capabilities of data center solutions,” said Lisa Spelman, General Manager of Data Center Marketing at Intel. “Through working with our ecosystem partners like Insyde, our data center customers will have comprehensive hardware and software solutions that will drive new innovations and platform differentiation,” added Spelman.

More information:

http://www.insydesw.com/press_news/press-releases/insyde%C2%AE-software-helps-drive-innovation-future-intel%C2%AE-data-center-platform

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AMD AGESA

I’m learning about AMD firmware solutions, and AGESA is first acronym on the list. According to Wikipedia:

“AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture (AGESA), is a bootstrap protocol by which system devices on AMD64-architecture mainboards are initialized. The AGESA software in the BIOS of such mainboards is responsible for the initialization of the processor cores, memory, and the HyperTransport controller. AGESA documentation was previously available only to AMD partners that had signed an NDA. AGESA source code was open sourced in early 2011 to gain track in coreboot.”

There are two firmware ecosystems, coreboot and UEFI, where the former has a lot of Chrome OEMs, and the latter has a lot of Windows OEMs. UEFI and coreboot work on Intel and AMD (and ARM) systems. AMD makes both x86 and ARM systems, but I’m focusing on their x86 systems here.

For coreboot, Sage Engineering is main coreboot IBVs (Independent BIOS Vendors), AFAICT. Sage currently supports AMD systems, offering coreboot with AGESA.

https://www.se-eng.com/products/sagebios-bsp-for-amd-processors/

Sage supports many modern x86 platforms from AMD. In early BSP releases,our source code license allowed us to directly modify and include AGESA source code. Later versions include the AGESA binary PI from AMD to initialize the CPU. SageBIOS(TM) Custom BSPs deliver full-featured firmware designed for AMD platforms.

https://www.se-eng.com/firmware-solutions-for-intel-and-amd-x86-processor-systems/

AMD was the first […] to support an open source boot solution with its support of the One Laptop Per Child program, which was immersed in the Linux open source community, and the Linux firmware boot solutions that would ultimately become coreboot. Sage Electronic Engineering founder Scott Hoot was heavily involved in that the children’s laptop project, as a firmware designer for AMD, and would soon embrace open source firmware solution as a foundation for his startup company. Sage would have distinct advantages over other open source firmware development companies in that Hoot already had a insight into AMD’s proprietary architecture, which he would cement with a agreements with AMD to help forge the way into expanded open source BIOS and firmware coding. Sage would continue to forge a trail in the community with its support of the coreboot(R) solution and the proprietary hybrid that Sage developed for more rapid deployment, SageBIOS. Open source development as a whole continue to progress with AMD’s AGESA  and Intel’s Firmware Support Package, essentially giving open source firmware designers a better look at the architecture than was previously allowed.

Over in the UEFI Forum ecosystem, it appears that most of the ‘mainstream’ IBVs also support ARM via AGESA in their products as well. I see support from Insyde Software and AMI, at least.

http://www.insyde.com/press_news/press-releases/insyde-software-provides-framework-support-amd-processors

http://www.ami.com/news/press-releases/?PressReleaseID=135&/American%20Megatrends%20Extends%20Aptio%C2%AE%20Firmware%20Support%20for%20AMD%20AGESA%E2%84%A2/

I’m still not clear if TianoCore can use AGESA directly, or if an IBV is still needed to integrate the two.

More Information:

http://review.coreboot.org/gitweb?p=coreboot.git;a=tree;f=src/vendorcode/amd
https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/third_party/coreboot/+/a46a712610c130cdadfe1ebf6bec9ad22e474dac/src/cpu/amd/agesa
http://amd-dev.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wordpress/media/2012/10/AGESA_Interface_specification_for_Arch2008.pdf

[I just realized that I’ve not written a blog on Intel Firmware Support Package (FSP) yet…. I’ll do one in a few days.]

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Spring Plugfest presentations uploaded

The PDFs of the presentations from last months’ UEFI Forum plugfest have been uploaded to uefi.org.

http://www.uefi.org/learning_center/presentationsandvideos
(scroll about half-way through the page, after the Youtube videos…)

* System Prep Applications – Powerful New Feature in UEFI 2.5 – Kevin Davis (Insyde Software)
* Filling UEFI/FW Gaps in the Cloud – Mallik Bulusu (Microsoft) and Vincent Zimmer (Intel)
* PreBoot Provisioning Solutions with UEFI – Zachary Bobroff (AMI)
* An Overview of ACPICA Userspace Tools – David Box (Intel)
* UEFI Firmware – Securing SMM – Dick Wilkins (Phoenix Technologies)
* Overview of Windows 10 Requirements for TPM, HVCI and SecureBoot – Gabe Stocco, Scott Anderson and Suhas Manangi (Microsoft)
* Porting a PCI Driver to ARM AArch64 Platforms – Olivier Martin (ARM)
* Firmware in the Data Center: Goodbye PXE and IPMI. Welcome HTTP Boot and Redfish! – Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud (Hewlett Packard)
* A Common Platforms Tree – Leif Lindholm (Linaro)

This’ll be a very short blog, as I’m busy reading 9 new PDFs… 🙂 I’ll do blogs on some these specific presentations in the coming days.

 

 

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