Red Hat Satellite GRUB UEFI PXE script

Satellite 6 TFTP boot file legacy grub conversion script

This script is used to convert the tftp boot files (found in /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/) which are automatically generated by Satellite 6 into the old legacy grub format. Why is this useful? Recently I encountered some HP servers which have an additional 10GbE card in one of the PCI-E slots on the machine which is used for the PXE boot. Unfortunately this additional interface only supports UEFI boot and not classic bios boot. By default Satellite 6 uses the shim image for UEFI but this doesn’t work with the older Linux kernel used by RHEL6.X. If this script is executed on a capsule or satellite server which has TFTP enabled, it will automatically replace the boot files using the old format which gives a successful boot for RHEL6.




Shell script for Laszlo’s SMM test environment article

Laszlo Ersek of Red Hat wrote a wiki article on tianocore.org[1], showing how to setup the EDK2 with QEMU/OVMF for testing SMM code using Fedora.

Recently, Alex Floyd of PreOS Security wrote a shell script to codify this wiki article[2].

Laszlo’s wiki is dense, I expect this script will be useful for some UEFI firmware engineers and security researchers.

According to Alex, “some things needed tweaking to get to work, and the Windows portion of the tutorial is not included in the script.”

[1] https://github.com/tianocore/tianocore.github.io/wiki/Testing-SMM-with-QEMU,-KVM-and-libvirt

[2] https://github.com/gencymex/smmtestbuildscript



Background for Kernel Lockdown patch

Re: https://firmwaresecurity.com/2017/04/05/linux-kernel-lockdown-2/

Here’s more background on the Kernel Lockdown patch, from email by David Howells of Red Hat:

The idea is to properly implement UEFI Secure Boot mode such that we can kexec another operating system (Linux, Windows, etc.) and pass on the Secure Boot flag with a guarantee that we haven’t been compromised. This assumes the following:

 (1) Someone wanting to compromise your machine can’t get physical access to the running hardware.  I think pretty much all bets are off if someone gets their hands on your computer.
 (2) Whatever boots our kernel is not itself compromised.  If it is, there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it.
 (3) Whatever boots our kernel can prove that our kernel is what it says it is.

Now, (2) has to start with security right from the system booting, and likely involves the firmware being checked by the hardware.  The firmware then has to validate anything it runs, and the things it runs have to validate anything they run, etc. up to our kernel being booted.

With regard to (3), take the example of booting Fedora Linux on a UEFI PC in secure boot mode: the UEFI BIOS boots the Fedora SHIM, which boots Grub, which boots the kernel.  The SHIM is signed by the UEFI signing authority and is checked against the UEFI key database; Grub and the kernel are signed by a key built into the SHIM.

[Note that in secure boot mode, Grub loads the kernel image asks the SHIM to verify it; further, the SHIM will catch anyone trying to boot without verification and halt the machine.]

[Note that we do verification with cryptographic signatures, but compiled-in hash whitelists would also work.]

In order to maintain the security guarantee, the kernel then needs to prevent unauthorised modification of code and data in the running kernel (module loading is permissible) and also it needs to protect any private keys or other security data it may hold within the image.  We try to do this by the following means:

 (1) Refuse to use any key or hash that UEFI has in its blacklist.
 (2) Refuse to load any module that isn’t signed/hashed.
 (3) Refuse to load any firmware that isn’t signed/hashed.
 (4) Refuse to kexec any image that isn’t signed/hashed.
 (5) Refuse to dump a kernel image for software suspend/hibernation if it’s not encrypted.  Further, if it is encrypted, the key must be protected.
 (6) Refuse to load a dumped kernel image that isn’t encrypted with a protected key.
 (7) Refuse to allow userspace direct access to kernel memory (no /dev/mem,  /dev/kmem, /proc/kcore).
 (8) Refuse to allow userspace direct, unsupervised access to hardware (no iopl, /dev/ioports, MSRs, etc.).  It might be feasible to open PCI BARs through dedicated device files for certain functions though (eg. X servers), but unconstrained DMA must be disallowed.
 (9) Refuse to let userspace configure a driver to use a piece of hardware to muck around with system RAM, possibly by mismatching driver and device.

See the posting on the linux-kernel/efi list for full message.


Testing SMM with QEMU, KVM and libvirt

Laszlo Ersek has created a new document that shows how to test SMM using UEFI’s OVMF. Great information!

I’ve added the following article to the TianoCore wiki[1]. It should help both Windows and Linux desktop users build a KVM test machine / environment that closely resembles mine. Such an environment is useful for testing and regression-testing new MP and SMM features and bugfixes. The initial setup is not short, but once you got it up and running, it’s very simple to rebuild OVMF with the edk2 changes, install the firmware binary in the right place (see the article) and then click the Play button on the Fedora 25 and Windows 10 guests, to see the changes in action. If you have smaller updates or structural reorgs for the document, there’s no need to ask me, just go ahead and do them. If some significant information is missing that you’d like me to add, I think I’d prefer new TianoCore BZs at this time (Product: Tianocore Feature Requests, Component: Web Content, Assignee: yours truly). I don’t know when I’ll have time again to dig into this.

Full announcement:


OpenCIT 2.2 released

Adolfo V Aguayo of Intel announced the version 2.2 release of OpenCIT.

New Features in 2.2:
– TPM 2.0 support.
   + Added support for platform and asset tag attestation of Linux and Windows hosts with TPM 2.0.
   + Support attestation of either SHA1 or SHA256 PCR banks on TPM 2.0.
   + Ubuntu 16.04 and RHEL 7.2, 7.3 (SHA1 and SHA256), Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 (SHA1) are supported with TPM 2.0
– All the certificates and hashing algorithms used in CIT are upgraded to use SHA256.  SHA1 has been deprecated and will no longer be used.
– CIT Attestation Service UI has been updated to allow the user to select either the SHA1 or SHA256 PCR bank for Attestation of TPM 2.0 hosts.
    + The CIT  Attestation Service will automatically choose the strongest available algorithm for attestation (SHA1 for TPM 1.2, and SHA256 for TPM 2.0)
– CIT Attestation Service UI Whitelist tab no longer requires the user to select PCRs when whitelisting, and will automatically choose the PCRs to use based on the host OS and TPM version.  This is done to reduce confusion due to differing behaviors between TPM 1.2 and TPM 2.0 PCR usages.
– Additional changes made to support TPM 2.0:
    + Linux hosts with TPM 2.0 will now utilize TPM2.0-TSS (TPM 2.0 Software Stack) and TPM2.0-tools instead of the legacy trousers and tpm-tools packages. The new TSS2 and TPM2.0-tools are packaged with the CIT Trust Agent installer.
    + TPM 2.0 Windows hosts use TSS.MSR (The TPM Software Stack from Microsoft Research) PCPTool.
    + TPM 1.2 hosts will continue to use the legacy TSS stack (trousers) and tpm-tools components.

For more information, see the full announcement on the oat-devel@lists.01.org mailing list.



Peter Jones on Secure Boot failures and mitigations

I just now came across a blog post written by Peter Jones from LAST MONTH on that “Microsoft Secure Boot Golden Key” news reports that is worth reading. Peter owns the Linux shim, so he knows a bit about UEFI’s boot process.


Especially because I’ve had nearly nothing useful in this blog on this post:




Also note other articles in Peter’s blog: he makes regular canary posts about the state of his Shim code. I wish all of the boot/firmware code required all contributes to have canaries!