EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.13.12

Microsoft Fanatics Were Wrong, Linux Indeed Attacked by UEFI (Updatedx2)

Posted in Microsoft at 7:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ed Bott

Summary: More information about UEFI leaves no doubt about Microsoft’s intentions to sabotage and cheat

IN OUR previous posts about UEFI (aka “secure” boot) [1, 2, 3] we showed that Microsoft was still a corrupt company looking to break the rules to make money. Aaron Williamson from the SFLC writes the article “Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM devices”:

At the beginning of December, we warned the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use UEFI secure boot anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems. As Glyn Moody points out, Microsoft has wasted no time in revising its Windows Hardware Certification Requirements to effectively ban most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8.

The Certification Requirements define (on page 116) a “custom” secure boot mode, in which a physically present user can add signatures for alternative operating systems to the system’s signature database, allowing the system to boot those operating systems. But for ARM devices, Custom Mode is prohibited: “On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enable.” [sic] Nor will users have the choice to simply disable secure boot, as they will on non-ARM systems: “Disabling Secure [Boot] MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.” [sic] Between these two requirements, any ARM device that ships with Windows 8 will never run another operating system, unless it is signed with a preloaded key or a security exploit is found that enables users to circumvent secure boot.

Glyn Moody adds:

In December 2011, Microsoft published a document entitled “Windows Hardware Certification Requirements” for client and server systems. As the introduction explains:

This release to web (RTW) document contains the Windows Hardware Certification requirements for Windows 8 Certified Systems. These requirements are Microsoft’s guidelines for designing systems which successfully meet Windows performance, quality, and feature criteria, to assure the optimum Windows 8 computing experience. Successfully following this guidance will allow a partner to receive certification for their system.

On page 116 of this document, there are some details about the circumstances under which Secure Boot can be disabled:

MANDATORY: Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of Pkpriv. Programmatic disabling of Secure Boot either during Boot Services or after exiting EFI Boot Services MUST NOT be possible. Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.

This confirms that it is indeed possible to disable Secure Boot – but only on non-ARM systems (i.e. traditional PCs.) In other words, it would appear that Microsoft is still locking out GNU/Linux from installation on ARM-based Windows 8 machines.

So this leaves me confused. The document was published some time after Microsoft’s post where it states “Microsoft does not mandate or control the settings on PC firmware that control or enable secured boot from any operating system other than Windows”, and yet it seems to contradict it. So what’s going here? Was Microsoft’s blog statement only about non-ARM systems, as the new documentation suggests? And if so, why the discrimination? And finally, is ARM really happy to see Microsoft apparently locking out GNU/Linux from its systems in this way? Let’s hope Microsoft can clarify this situation as it did on the previous occasion.

This leaves no room for excuses. Microsoft’s bribed systematic liars/spinners, such as Ed Bott, were just trying to keep regulators away. It’s time to nail down Microsoft for interfering with fair competition in more than a single way. Just because Microsoft is imploding or collapsing does not entitle it/give it a right to sabotage competitors. This harms everyone.

Update: SJVN weighs in shortly afterwards:

Microsoft and its vendor friends said that there’s no Windows 8 plot to lock other operating systems from Windows 8 devices, but now we know Microsoft was not telling the whole truth.

Journalist Glyn Moody dug around Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Windows 8 client and server systems and found on page 116 that will Windows 8 Secure Boot can be disabled: on Intel systems, “Disabling Secure [Boot] must not be possible on ARM systems.”

Update #2: Microsoft now receives the Slashdot treatment. As one person put it: “Oh boy, the lawyers must be rubbing their hands over this. The flaw in Microsoft’s aim of course is that next to no one wants a Microsoft mobile gadget.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    January 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Gravatar

    Wait… are you a supporter of free and fair competition now? Does that mean you are going to speak out against Google/Samsung for not playing fair and plagiarizing Apple?

    Wait… no, you are not.

    I wish you could be consistent.

  2. Mikko said,

    January 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Gravatar

    Michael is a troll and a member of apple invented everything in technology and everybody else are just stealing from apple

    Michael Reply:

    That is silly. Why troll me and not try to refute my claims?

    Remember, the evidence that Samsung plagiarized Apple is rock solid:

    http://i.imgur.com/TmUj2.jpg
    http://goo.gl/S2AJR
    http://goo.gl/bWDs6
    http://goo.gl/NjrfV

    If you have a reasoned counter, something more than just empty denial, I am open to reading it.

    But you do not – hence the reason you leave the topic behind to call me names and make up stories about me and my views.

  3. mrkennie said,

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Gravatar

    I wondered when this would happen and probably will be allowed to happen just like MSXML became an ISO standard and SOPA will be passed. Rich Corporations run the US. Democracy? What is that again?

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  2. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  3. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  4. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  5. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  6. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  7. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  8. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  9. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  10. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  12. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  13. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  14. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  15. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  16. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  17. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  18. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  19. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  20. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  21. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  22. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  23. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  24. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  25. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  26. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  27. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  28. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  29. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  30. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts