Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 21st Sep 2011 22:06 UTC, submitted by kragil
Windows After the walled garden coming to the desktop operating system world, we're currently witnessing another potential nail in the coffin of the relatively open world of desktop and laptop computing. Microsoft has revealed [.pptx] that as part of its Windows 8 logo program, OEMs must implement UEFI secure boot. This could potentially complicate the installation of other operating systems, like Windows 7, XP, and Linux.
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RE: Possibly very good
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd Sep 2011 02:07 UTC in reply to "Possibly very good"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

If this stays as an option in the bios that we can turn off, or if the linux community get their own software signed in a practical manor, then there is a very, very good side to this.


It is not a problem of the linux community, it is a problem that whoever makes the UEFI hardware won't give out signing keys to anybody and everybody. They will put only a certain number of keys in the UEFI ROMs, and the only OSes which will boot will be those signed with a matching key.

If they then give signing keys out to everybody who wanted to compile a new kernel, then root-kit authors could sign their root kits, and we are back to square one. They may as well not have the whole secure boot thing in the first place. It only makes sense if the signing keys are kept as secrets.

Edited 2011-09-22 02:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Possibly very good
by TheChucklesStart on Thu 22nd Sep 2011 03:35 in reply to "RE: Possibly very good"
TheChucklesStart Member since:
2009-04-17

Or the UEFI industry could move to using a Certificate Authority like most current code signing systems do.

They could also allow you to load certificates from a USB drive for self signed code, making it harder for a malware author to put their certificate in the UEFI but making it fairly painless for a user to handle.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Possibly very good
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd Sep 2011 03:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Possibly very good"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Or the UEFI industry could move to using a Certificate Authority like most current code signing systems do. They could also allow you to load certificates from a USB drive for self signed code, making it harder for a malware author to put their certificate in the UEFI but making it fairly painless for a user to handle.


I'm not sure if this would work, or not. How would it still be impossible for a blackhat author to self-sign their malware rootkit?

If it can work, and it could be possible to make it fairly painless for a user to boot self-signed code, and the industry doesn't do it ... then the concerns expressed by the author of the original article would be shown to have been completely valid, would they not?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Possibly very good
by Lennie on Thu 22nd Sep 2011 09:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Possibly very good"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The CAs is actually what they are using.

The question is obviously, what happends when a CA makes a mess of it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Possibly very good
by mabhatter on Fri 23rd Sep 2011 01:52 in reply to "RE: Possibly very good"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

they could always add an option to generate your OWN key or passphrase for signing Open Source software right in the bios. It wouldn't really effect Microsoft because it could be a different format or something and you'd have to generate it so it wouldn't be one of their keys. Then they could have an open source program to sign the stuff to run on it.

I'd be trivial to implement, that is what the Open Source people should be going for.

Reply Parent Score: 2