Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft and Its Boosters Worsen Linux Security

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Dec 01, 2023

The circus goes on and on. Latest:

UEFI flaws allow bootkits to pwn potentially hundreds of devices using images: Secure? But whose standards?

Hundreds of consumer and enterprise devices are potentially vulnerable to bootkit exploits through unsecured BIOS image parsers.

Security researchers have identified vulnerabilities in UEFI system firmware from major vendors which they say could allow attackers to hijack poorly maintained image libraries to quietly deliver malicious payloads that bypass Secure Boot, Intel Boot Guard, AMD Hardware-Validated Boot, and others.

Dubbed "LogoFail," we're told the set of vulnerabilities allows attackers to use malicious image files that are loaded by the firmware during the boot phase as a means of quietly delivering payloads such as bootkits.

The vulnerabilities affect the image parsing libraries used by various firmware vendors, most of which are exposed to the flaws, according to the researchers at Binarly.

Image parsers are firmware components responsible for loading logos of vendors, or workplaces in cases where work-issued machines are configured to do so, flashing them on the display as the machine boots.

THE article above was shared just moments ago in IRC (by Sompi). It's yet another one of many such revelations and incidents. It's important to distinguish real, inherent security (auditable, reproducible, small and simple enough to exhaustively traverse and learn) from marketing junk and junk science. One need not go far back in time (just over a week) to grasp perils of Windows and shortcomings of fingerprint biometrics - i.e. quasi-futuristic security theatrics and gimmicks.

Where does this end? What happened to proper engineering?

The Microsofters like to break things and block Linux from booting and installing. Of course they call this whole charade "security" and anyone who questions their motives is "against security" or "homophobic" or something to that effect... so do not ever criticise what they do. Questioning Microsoft is an act of intolerance and disregard for the supposed needs of "Big Users" of Linux...

It should be noted that Microsoft's Poettering is pushing similar things and worse via systemd (even TPM). We covered this before. It'll get worse over time. As one reader put it some hours ago: "The Poettering-driven merge of /usr/bin and /bin is going to cause a tremendous amount of further damage to both the technological base as well as the community and add a lot of unnecessary effort."

This reader moreover cited "The collapse of Debian" - an ongoing discussion that relates to the above. And "there is a good three-point summary further down on the first page," this reader said, though to quote the top part: "Fedora and Ubuntu has nothing on what Debian was, and Debian is no longer what it was. We no longer have in our midst that which we used to have, and now more than ever need."

Almost all my machines run Debian and I heard that Debian 12 can be tough on some desktops/laptops. Heck, this site's server runs Debian 12, but so far no major issue. 4 Debian Developers have been added in 2 months, so one can hope the project can survive and thrive in an age when both IBM and Canonical push Microsoft agenda.

While GNU/Linux usage sure is increasing [1, 2], both in homes and businesses, the freedom of it is being compromised and security intentionally sabotaged (hence, many consider or move to BSD). It's rapidly becoming yet another back-doored platform that is vulnerable enough to be deemed "enterprise-ready" by the likes of the NSA.

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