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

06.24.13

If You Use Microsoft Windows, the NSA Can Brick Your Computer Hardware Remotely

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cluster of bricks is all you have left

Brick

Summary: Legions of cyberattack staff from the NSA can engage not only in espionage but also remote mass-vandalism of hardware in foreign nations

Now that we know calling out Windows is a serious matter of national security (the NSA regularly gets back doors for access, as noted in more and more articles right now), we should consider what it really means. With UEFI it has been demonstrated that motherboards can be bricked [1, 2, 3], irrespective of the platform (provided there is remote access to it). Imagine what can happen at times of war. If the NSA can take over Windows, which it can, it can brick any computer with such motherboards. This is serious because it means that not even reinstalling the operating system or swapping operating systems would help. This is what one gets when the most ferocious cyberarmy has back door access to the system. This new article about restricted boot covers antitrust issues as well:

We take a look at the most recent controversial feature to emerge from Redmond

[...]

But there is another angle to it all. Microsoft probably couldn’t have insisted that manufacturers lock the boot loader on x86 machines. In the EU at least, this would almost certainly be construed as abusing a dominant market position, and that has got Microsoft in trouble before.

With ARM though, they don’t have a dominant market position so are legally free to abuse their non-dominant position as much as they wish. With this in mind, some people have speculated that Secure Boot on ARM is what Microsoft want to do, and on x86 it’s what they’ve been forced to do.

In the future, these people speculate, the x86 version will creep closer and closer to how it is on ARM until it finally locks users out of their own computers.

Fortunately, Microsoft in ARM is dying breed. Some reports from Taiwan say that Windows RT is a failure (links posted in daily links) and it is being dumped right now (so-called ‘discounts’) with speculation that it might die:

Reports that Windows RT is headed for the dustbin of failed Microsoft operating systems has become a month — if not weekly — ritual for Asia-based sources.

This time Digitimes has gone so far to compare RT to the fate of Hewlett-Packard’s failed WebOS.

“Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system may fall to the same fate as Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) WebOS as most brand vendors have already stopped developing related products,” Digitimes wrote on Wednesday, citing sources at hardware suppliers.

Microsoft is on its way out, but the damage it causes on its way out is immense. When wars are waged by geeks like Turing and cryptology is where a lot of potential for domination lies, using Windows in any government other than the United States’ is simply unthinkable. Countries like Germany should complete the migration to Free software.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/12/2014: Red Hat CEO Talks, Ruby 2.2.0 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 26/12/2014: Devuan in the News, New PCLinuxOS

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/12/2014: Updates on GNU/Linux in China and N. Korea

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/12/2014: GNU/Linux at Sky News, Another Tizen Camera

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: November 30th, 2014 – December 20th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  6. Links 21/12/2014: China and Linux, GNOME Shell 3.15.3

    Links for the day



  7. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  8. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  9. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  10. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  11. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  12. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  13. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  14. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  15. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  16. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  18. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  19. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  22. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  23. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  24. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  25. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  26. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  27. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  28. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  29. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  30. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    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