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Linux 5.11 Has Many x86 Platform Driver Changes For From Dell BIOS Controls To Telemetry

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  • Linux 5.11 Has Many x86 Platform Driver Changes For From Dell BIOS Controls To Telemetry

    Phoronix: Linux 5.11 Has Many x86 Platform Driver Changes For From Dell BIOS Controls To Telemetry

    The x86-platform-drivers area of the kernel has a lot of prominent additions with Linux 5.11 for benefiting a variety of AMD and Intel laptops...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...atform-Drivers

  • #2
    "allow manipulating the BIOS configuration ... under /sys/devices/platform/dell-wmi-sysman/attributes/"

    Nice.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by elatllat View Post
      "allow manipulating the BIOS configuration ... under /sys/devices/platform/dell-wmi-sysman/attributes/"

      Nice.
      Actually `/sys/class/firmware-attributes/dell-wmi-sysman`.

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      • #4
        If Dell allows the user/admin to change BIOS settings from userspace, are they effectively enabling attackers to do the same thing?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Teggs View Post
          If Dell allows the user/admin to change BIOS settings from userspace, are they effectively enabling attackers to do the same thing?
          That ship already sailed long ago. Much of UEFI can be accessed from "user space" and has been for years. Note of nomenclature, as far as the initialization firmware is concerned, everything above the firmware layer is "user space", OS kernel, drivers, web browsers. I'd say "you can blame Intel for it" but the fact of the matter is that the PC BIOS has been accessible from the software stack level for years before UEFI at various levels. Intel just made it official with UEFI and defined interfaces.

          Not just the main board's firmware is accessible this way. Root kits have been installing themselves in any peripheral that has the ability to write to the board firmware: NICs, mice, keyboards, etc.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Teggs View Post
            If Dell allows the user/admin to change BIOS settings from userspace, are they effectively enabling attackers to do the same thing?
            There is a concept called a BIOS admin password that you can enable (including via this interface). When a BIOS admin password is set it is required to change settings.

            ​​​​

            Also I would note there are certain settings that can not be changed using this interface as you need to prove physical presence to change them. Settings such as UEFI secure boot and TPM disable.

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