April 24, 2017

Intel ME: The Way of Static Analysis

Image: Clive Darra, Flickr

Intel Management Engine (ME) has been known for over 10 years (since 2005), but official Internet sources about ME are few and far between. Fortunately, excellent works on the topic have been published in recent years. However, all of them deal with ME 10 and earlier, while modern computers implement ME 11, which was introduced in 2015 for the Skylake microarchitecture.

If you have never heard about ME, this is a good time to check out great slides from Igor Skochinsky about previous versions of ME.

In short, ME is a separate processor embedded in the chipset of any modern computer with an Intel CPU. ME runs even when the computer is sleeping or powered off (as long as it is plugged in to a power outlet). ME can access any part of RAM, but the RAM region used by ME is not accessible from the OS. What’s more, ME is capable of out-of-band access to the network adapter.

April 19, 2017

Bank employees using social networks at work: danger or mere distraction?

Banks always have been a lure for attackers, and while new technologies help to improve client service, they also create additional information security risks.

Cyberattacks on banks frequently start with criminals persuading employees of a financial institution to open specially crafted malware. Positive Technologies expert Timur Yunusov explains below if it makes sense for banks to ban workplace use of social networks to reduce the risk of such attacks.

April 13, 2017

Intel and Lenovo have restricted access to debugging interface of CPUs after Positive Technologies' revelations

Intel and Lenovo have released recommendations that help restrict access to JTAG debugging interface of processors which can be used by attackers. The insecurity was first discovered by Positive Technologies’ experts in December 2016.

At that time Positive Technologies’ experts Maxim Goryachiy and Mark Ermolov presented their findings, during a session at the Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) in Hamburg, explaining that modern Intel processors allow usage of the debugging interface via a USB 3.0 port available on many platforms to gain full control over the system. Modern security systems cannot detect such attacks.

April 7, 2017

Our new R&D center in Brno

We are pleased to announce the opening of our brand new   R&D center Brno, Czech Republic, which will focus on developing products to secure mobile telecommunications systems.