Microsoft Azure: UEFI-based boot VMs available

Good new, the long awaited UEFI-based boot support for Azure virtual machine is now available in preview. The UEFI-based boot support was added to on-premises Hyper-V since Windows Server 2012 R2, quite long time ago and since then we have been waiting for this on Azure. The new generation (aka generation 2) of Azure virtual machine introduces this support alongside of: […] and off course, support of SecureBoot and vTPM (virtual trusted platform module). Unfortunately, the support for VHDX is still not there. […] Complete list of support and limitations is available here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/generation-2 (side note, it seems the documentation is not completely correct at the time of writing as SecureBoot and vTPM are still listed as unsupported).[…]

https://www.hametbenoit.com/2019/05/21/azure-uefi-based-boot-virtual-machine-now-available-in-preview/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/generation-2

Microsoft Windows: System Guard Secure Launch and SMM protection

[I think this documentation is new. Maybe the feature is new as well.]

This topic explains how to configure System Guard Secure Launch and System Management Mode (SMM) protection to improve the startup security of Windows 10 devices. The information below is presented from a client perspective.[…]

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/windows-defender-system-guard/system-guard-secure-launch-and-smm-protection

Microsoft seeks Director Firmware Development

The Cloud Server Infrastructure Firmware Development (CSI-FW) team is responsible for server hardware definition, design and development of Server and Rack Infrastructure engineering for Microsoft’s online services. We are seeking a Director for our Firmware Development team. In this role it will be your job to help the firmware development team deliver on its product roadmap and strategy. You are also expected to educate and grow the software engineers on your team as well as help teach the engineers across our organization to see the vision you help us create. The candidate should have strong coding skills, debugging and troubleshooting abilities, with experience in leading and driver development in either Linux Kernel or Windows Kernel. The successful candidate should have experience with some or all of the following: firmware development, driver development, Windows OS development, yocto, UEFI, network sockets, platform initialization, Board Support Packages, peripherals interfaces such as PCIe, I2C, eMMC, SPI, USB, UARTs. OS primitives, memory management, scheduling, interrupts requests, threading and synchronization.

https://careers.microsoft.com/us/en/job/577536/Director-Firmware-Development

Azure IoT automatic device management helps deploying firmware updates at scale

Automatic device management in Azure IoT Hub automates many of the repetitive and complex tasks of managing large device fleets over the entirety of their lifecycles. Since the feature shipped in June 2018, there has been a lot of interest in the firmware update use case. This blog article highlights some of the ways you can kickstart your own implementation.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-iot-automatic-device-management-helps-deploying-firmware-updates-at-scale/

hdk – (unofficial) Hyper-V® Development Kit

The HDK is an updated version of the HvGdk.h header file published under MSR-LA as part of the Singularity Research Kernel. It has been updated to add the latest definitions, structures and definitions as described in the Microsoft Hypervisor Top-Level Functional Specification (TLFS) 5.0c published June 2018.

https://ionescu007.github.io/hdk/

Introducing the Windows Internals Series: One Windows Kernel

https://insider.windows.com/en-us/articles/category/article-categories/windows-internals/

Microsoft: Component Firmware Update (CFU)

October 17, 2018 4:02 pm
Introducing Component Firmware Update
By Microsoft Devices Team

The Microsoft Devices Team is excited to announce the release of an open-source model for Component Firmware Update for Windows system developers – Component Firmware Update (CFU). With CFU, you can easily deliver firmware updates for through Windows Update by using CFU drivers.[…]

https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2018/10/17/introducing-component-firmware-update/

Microsoft Project Mu: adaptation of TianoCore’s EDK2

https://github.com/Microsoft/mu_plus

https://github.com/Microsoft/mu_basecore

6 repos: https://github.com/topics/projectmu

https://microsoft.github.io/mu/faq/

https://microsoft.github.io/mu/

Project Mu is a modular adaptation of TianoCore’s edk2 tuned for building modern devices using a scalable, maintainable, and reusable pattern. Mu is built around the idea that shipping and maintaining a UEFI product is an ongoing collaboration between numerous partners. For too long the industry has built products using a “forking” model combined with copy/paste/rename and with each new product the maintenance burden grows to such a level that updates are near impossible due to cost and risk.

Project Mu also tries to address the complex business relationships and legal challenges facing partners today. To build most products it often requires both closed-source, proprietary assets as well as open source and industry standard code. The distributed build system and multi-repository design allow product teams to keep code separate and connected to their original source while respecting legal and business boundaries.

Project Mu originated from building modern Windows PCs but its patterns and design allow it to be scaled down or up for whatever the final product’s intent. IoT, Server, PC, or any other form factor should be able to leverage the content.

Microsoft Open Enclave SDK

https://openenclave.io/sdk/

What is Open Enclave SDK?
Confidential computing is an ongoing effort to protect data throughout its lifecycle at rest, in transit and now in use. With the use of Trust Execution Environments, customers can build applications that protect data from outside access while in use. Open Enclave SDK is an open source SDK targeted at creating a single unified enclaving abstraction for developer to be build Trusted Execution Environment (TEEs) based applications. As TEE technology matures and as different implementations arise, the Open Enclave SDK is committed to supporting an API set that allows developers to build once and deploy on multiple technology platforms, different environments from cloud to hybrid to edge, and for both Linux and Windows.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/protect-data-in-use-with-the-public-preview-of-azure-confidential-computing/

Microsoft Ephemeral OS: limited public preview

Last week at Microsoft Ignite, we launched Ultra SSD, a new industry leading high-performance disk type for IO intensive workloads. Adding to that, today we are delighted to share the limited preview of Ephemeral OS Disk, a new type of OS disk created directly on the host node, providing local disk performance and faster boot/reset time. Ephemeral OS Disk is supported for all virtual machines (VM) and virtual machine scale sets (VMSS). This offering is based on your feedback to provide a lower cost, higher performant OS disk for stateless applications, which enable them to quickly deploy the VMs and reset them to its original state.[…]

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ephemeral-os-disk-limited-public-preview/

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-ultra-ssd-the-next-generation-of-azure-disks-technology-preview/

 

Microsoft Bitlocker countermeasures and Thunderbolt DMA protection

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/information-protection/bitlocker/bitlocker-countermeasures

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/information-protection/kernel-dma-protection-for-thunderbolt

SpeculationControl: PowerShell script

SpeculationControl is a PowerShell script that summarizes the state of configurable Windows mitigations for various speculative execution side channel vulnerabilities, such as CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre variant 2) and CVE-2017-5754 (Meltdown). For an explanation on how to interpret the output of this tool, please see Understanding Get-SpeculationControlSettings PowerShell script output.[…]

https://github.com/Microsoft/SpeculationControl

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4074629/understanding-the-output-of-get-speculationcontrolsettings-powershell

ChromeBook CampFire?

Everything we know about Campfire, Google’s secretive project to get Windows 10 running on Chromebooks.[…]

https://www.xda-developers.com/chromebooks-chrome-os-windows-10-dual-boot-apple-boot-camp-campfire/

 

Microsoft Blackhat speculative execution slides posted

https://github.com/Microsoft/MSRC-Security-Research/blob/master/presentations/2018_08_BlackHatUSA/us-18-Fogh-Ertl-Wrangling-with-the-Ghost-An-Inside-Story-of-Mitigating-Speculative-Execution-Side-Channel-Vulnerabilities.pdf

Microsoft announces the public preview of Windows 10 IoT Core Services

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/07/18/microsoft-announces-the-public-preview-of-windows-iot-core-services-today/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/iot-core/commercialize-your-device/iotcoreservicesoverview

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 TPM firmware update issues

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3289630/microsoft-windows/surface-pro-2-owners-wonder-will-microsoft-ship-tpm-firmware-that-works.html

Windows: new feature using IOMMU to block DMA access for Thunderbolt devices when machine is locked

The latest version of Windows apparently has new protections against PCILeech and related attacks: