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SUSE on UEFI -vs- BIOS

I missed this blog post from SuSE from last year:

[…]One UEFI topic that I noticeably did not address in this blog is secure boot. This was actually covered extensively in three previous blogs. To read those blogs do a search for “Secure Boot” at suse.com. I also did not address the comparison of UEFI and BIOS from the operating systems perspective in this blog. That is a separate blog that was released at the same time as this one (Comparison of UEFI and BIOS – from an operating system perspective). Please read it too. Hopefully this gives you some helpful information about the transition from BIOS to UEFI, on the hardware side. You can find more information about SUSE YES Certification at https://www.suse.com/partners/ihv/yes/ or search for YES CERTIFIED hardware at https://www.suse.com/yessearch/. You can also review previous YES Certification blogs at YES Certification blog post[…]

https://www.suse.com/communities/blog/comparison-uefi-bios-hardware-perspective/

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FWTS 16.12.00 released

Ivan Hu of Canonical.com announced the release of FirmWare Test Suite release 16.12.00, with new features in UEFI Secure Boot, OpenPOWER Opal, and ACPI tests. See the full announcement for the list of bugfixes.

New Features:
* ACPICA: Update to version 20161117
* klog.json: Add a few more kernel errors to the database
* opal: pci_info: Add OPAL PCI Info validation
* opal: mem_info: Add OPAL MEM Info validation
* opal: cpu_info: Add OPAL CPU Info validation
* securebootcert: add variable AuditMode checking
* securebootcert: add variable DeployedMode checking

http://fwts.ubuntu.com/release/fwts-V16.12.00.tar.gz
https://launchpad.net/~firmware-testing-team/+archive/ubuntu/ppa-fwts-stable
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FirmwareTestSuite/ReleaseNotes/16.12.00
https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fwts

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33rd CCC

The 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) takes place in December in Germany. There are MANY great presentations, and CCC is great at making video archives available. Here’s a sample of a few of the presentations, starting with Trammell’s lecture on Heads:

Bootstraping a slightly more secure laptop
Trammell Hudson
https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2016/Fahrplan/events/8314.html

What could possibly go wrong with <insert x86 instruction here>?: Side effects include side-channel attacks and bypassing kernel ASLR
Clémentine Maurice and Moritz Lipp
https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2016/Fahrplan/events/8044.html

Untrusting the CPU: A proposal for secure computing in an age where we cannot trust our CPUs anymore
jaseg
https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2016/Fahrplan/events/8014.html

Virtual Secure Boot: Secure Boot support in qemu, kvm and ovmf
Gerd Hoffmann
https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2016/Fahrplan/events/8142.html

Full schedule:
https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2016/Fahrplan/schedule.html
https://events.ccc.de/congress/2016/wiki/Main_Page

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Run As Radio: UEFI Secure Boot

Episode 503 is on UEFI and Secure Boot:

“The BIOS has evolved, and we need to take advantage of it! While at Ignite in Atlanta, Richard sat down with Mark Minasi to talk about UEFI and SecureBoot. The conversation starts out with a bit of a history lesson about BIOS, ROM and booting up a computer. Mark tells the story of how EFI started with Intel’s Itanium, and eventually appeared everywhere. UEFI is effectively an operating system in its own right, with drivers and it’s own set of security risks. This leads to a conversation around SecureBoot, dealing with the challenges of resisting security exploits from startup onward. It’s easy enough to get SecureBoot running, it’s what happens when it’s triggered that gets complicated. “

http://www.runasradio.com/Shows/Show/503

 

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Secure Boot in vSphere 6.5

Tom Fenton has an article in Virtualization Review on the latest version of VMWare’s vSphere 6.5, and this release includes UEFI changes:

[…]Another major security upgrade in this release is “Secure Boot,” to prevent unauthorized operating systems and software from loading during the startup process. Secure Boot is a feature enabled by UEFI, and can be used not only when booting the hypervisor, but also when booting up the guests. VMware has also updated its logging to include the ability to track who did what on a vSphere system. […]

https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2016/10/18/vsphere-6_5-first-look.aspx

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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.

https://blog.uncooperative.org/blog/2016/08/18/secure-boot-failures-and-mitigation/

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

https://firmwaresecurity.com/2016/08/18/more-on-microsoft-uefi-secure-boot-golden-key-news/

 

https://firmwaresecurity.com/2016/08/11/microsoft-uefi-secure-boot-key-problem/

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!

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