Two guys, one laptop (hacking a Toshiba BIOS laptop)

This is a great story about hacking a BIOS-level locked Toshiba laptop. There will be plenty of hardware hacking, reverse engineering and perseverance. And some crypto as well.[…] The whole process took 3 years – but the actual work took about 2 weeks, the rest was Michał waiting for Sergiusz to dump the chips. They reported their findings to Toshiba, which promised to deliver updates and change the encryption scheme.[…]


Toshiba: Infineon TPMs, Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

Infineon Technologies Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs), Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

Document ID: 4015874
Posted Date: 2018-03-20
Last Updated: 2018-03-20

Infineon® Technologies Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs), Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

NOTICE: The information in this Security Bulletin should be acted upon as soon as possible.

Potential Security Impact: A security vulnerability exists in certain Trusted Platform Module (TPM) firmware. The vulnerability weakens key strength. It is important to note that this is a firmware vulnerability, and not a vulnerability in the operating system or a specific application. Toshiba is working closely with Infineon® to validate their fix and ensure it works across Toshiba’s range of products. Until firmware updates are available, it is recommended that people and companies using Toshiba PCs and devices that incorporate TPMs to take steps to maintain the security of their systems and information.

Toshiba’s TPM Firmware Release Schedule:[…]
Source: Infineon® & Microsoft® Security TechCenter

Ubuntu 17.10 corrupting BIOS – many Lenovo laptops models (and Acer and Toshiba)

“Canonical has pulled downloads for its Ubuntu 17.10 Linux distribution following reports that it can trigger a bug in the UEFI firmware of selected Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba laptops, corrupting the BIOS and disabling the ability to boot from USB Drives.”

Reversing Toshiba laptop BIOS protection

Michał Kowalczyk has an interesting presentation on Intel BIOS reversing, focusing on a Toshiba system. Presentation is in Polish. If you have a Toshiba, see the excerpt below with advisory info.


Oficjalne stanowisko Toshiby
Toshiba is working on a temporary BIOS update that can be used to prevent the security issue that has been raised and expects to release this update on its website within the next 2 weeks.
Toshiba plans to start the release of a permanent fix for some models from January, 2018 and will complete the releases of permanent fix for all applicable models by the end of March 2018.

Click to access bd81619010b3b8ef012ff8af491a034bd9c6c3adfd76ddbb180c43c15f291fc1.pdf


Toshiba adds security features to firmware

Toshiba has added firmware-level security to their Mobile Zero Client:

[…]How Toshiba Mobile Zero Client works
* Power on: User powers on the device, which connects to pre-configured LAN or Wi-Fi
* Boot permission: Device requests boot permission from Toshiba Boot Control Service*
* Big Core download: When boot permission is granted, your unique, secure, Big Core package is encrypted, downloaded and unpacked in the RAM
* Ready to go: Your Big Core, with Linux and the VDI client, is executed – establishing its connection to your VDI server

[…]Beyond supporting the storage of data securely away from the device, TMZC can provide added protection through Toshiba’s uniquely developed BIOS, which is designed and built in–house to help remove the risk of third-party interference.[…] We’re one of the only manufacturers that creates our own BIOS and UEFI’s.[…]

Toshiba to exit semiconductor manufacturing, except for NAND flash

[…] Toshiba has firmed up plans to unload a large portion of its semiconductor-manufacturing operations as part of sweeping reforms to improve profitability in the wake of an accounting scandal. The Japanese company plans to keep NAND flash memory operations, its biggest profit source and a field where its market share is second only to Samsung Electronics. Product lines up for sale include analog chips, LSI chips, microcontrollers and power-saving semiconductors. Applications include cars, industrial machinery, home electronics and housing construction equipment. […]

I wonder if there are any Toshiba chips for sale that might be useful to acquire for an Open Hardware venture?