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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2012/01/13/new-information-about-uefi/

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. Firefox Cannot be Trusted at the Hands of Today's Mozilla Management

    Mozilla’s managers are a big part of today’s problem/s; they aren’t resigning, instead they lay off loads of technical staff that has worked on Firefox (while rewarding themselves with further pay increases) and Firefox users aren’t treated with respect; the way things are going, this is just commercial suicide



  2. Links 5/8/2021: More AAA Games for GNU/Linux, Firefox Loses 50M Users in Two Years

    Links for the day



  3. The Patent Quality Song

    Ample room for introspection now that patents are being assigned to bots



  4. [Meme] Patents for Bots (the Other Kind of 'Hey Hi' Patents)

    'Down under', in South Africa and Australia, patent offices or courts have given up on the idea that patents are granted to inventors and in order to encourage progress; it's a crisis of legitimacy for the very premise of the system



  5. EPO Bribing Scholars to Justify Software Patents, Then Using Narrow Surveys to Justify Unlawful Guidelines for Examiners (e.g. Software Patents as 'Hey Hi')

    The EPO's "news" section is still in "propaganda mode" and that propaganda is being propagated even to universities (in service of unlawful agenda)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 04, 2021



  7. Links 4/8/2021: Mesa 21.2 and Kaisen Linux Rolling 1.8

    Links for the day



  8. Links 4/8/2021: Audacity as Spyware and PCLinuxOS Updates

    Links for the day



  9. Destroying Freenode Was Not the Objective, But That's Just What Happened

    Killing Freenode was certainly not what Andrew Lee wanted, but Lee will be remembered as the person whose takeover basically led to the end of Freenode; it's in disarray



  10. GNU/Linux Users, Developers and Advocates Being Painted as Unruly and Rude by Corporate Media Looking to Undermine Software Freedom

    Corporate media, funded by companies that nonchalantly oppress people, would have us believe there's something wrong with people who reject corporate masters in their computing; reality, however, suggests that it is a wholly false narrative induced or cemented by endless repetition, so this framing ought to be rejected outright



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, August 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, August 03, 2021



  12. The Free Software Community Needs Solidarity and Stronger Resistance Against Corporate Oligopolies With Their Overlapping Interests

    Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman (RMS) do not have to be idolised ("cult of personalities") but they definitely need to be defended from a longstanding and ongoing corporate coup, which the corporations seek to justify using nicer-sounding terms like "security" (that's how they justify added complexity such as Rust) or "safe space" (they're collectively insulting the community as if only employees of monopolies can help combat bigotry)



  13. Links 4/8/2021: More IBM Downtimes and Firefox Losing Many Users

    Links for the day



  14. Links 3/8/2021: DeaDBeeF 1.8.8, CrossOver 21, AMD and Valve Hook Up for GNU/Linux Work

    Links for the day



  15. Links 3/8/2021: LibreOffice Autoupdater and Vulkan in X-Plane

    Links for the day



  16. How the News About 'Linux' Gets Manipulated to Spread FUD and Promote the Competition of GNU/Linux

    We quickly examine the sorts of news one gets from Google 'News' when searching for “Linux” and we conclude that real news is occluded or missing



  17. The EPO is Europe's Largest Scale Scam (by Far the Largest)

    In another fine instance of deja vu, the biggest scammers are warning everybody else about lesser “scammers”; one might be tempted to call this “projection tactics” or deflection (staring at the mirror) which helps churn/flood the "news" section with tons of recycled old fluff (they could certainly use a distraction right now)



  18. Links 3/8/2021: Raspberry Pi ‘WeatherClock’ and IPFire 2.27 - Core Update 159

    Links for the day



  19. IBM's Attack on the Community and on GPL/FSF is an Attack on Red Hat's Greatest Asset

    Ever since IBM bought Red Hat it has repeatedly attacked the FSF (in a malicious and personified fashion), looking for its own ‘copyright grab’ whilst outsourcing loads of code to proprietary software monopolisers who attack the GPL; by doing so, IBM is destroying the value of what it paid more than 30 billion dollars for (IBM is governed by pretentious fools, according to IBM insiders; they’ve already lost Red Hat’s longtime CEO and IBM’s new President), so it’s falling back on openwashing of IBM's proprietary software with help from the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation



  20. Four Weeks of Non-Compliance: EPO Only Accepts Courts That It Rigs and Controls

    Compliance is for suckers, believes the “Mafia” which runs the EPO; it is not even responding (for three weeks!) to letters from the victims who won the cases; this is bad for Europe's image and it sets a dangerous precedent



  21. Seven Eleven: 11 is to 10 What 7 Was to Vista

    Microsoft is, as usual, aggressively manipulating/bribing the media (hyping up a shallow version inflation along with paid-for vapourware advertising) while strong-arming the market; there’s no other way they can compete anymore



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, August 02, 2021



  23. Links 3/8/2021: Nitrux 1.5.1 and Gerbera Media Server 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  24. Links 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  26. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  27. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  28. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  29. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  30. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts