Google Even Fear Intel ME, Reduce Their Attack Vector With NERF
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 27 October 2017 at 05:34 AM EDT. 38 Comments
GOOGLE --
Even Google is concerned about attack vectors with UEFI and Intel's Management Engine that their NERF project seeks to alleviate some of these concerns and is used by their servers.

NERF is short for the Non-Extensible Reduced Firmware and is their effort to replace most of the UEFI firmware with a small Linux kernel and initramfs while their custom portions of the code are written in the Go programming language.

NERF is developed by Ron Minnich and Google's other Coreboot developers. Minnich was talking about their NERF project at this week's Embedded European Linux Conference.

NERF delivers "Linux performance and reliability in firmware" as well as eliminates all post-boot activity of UEFI and the Management Engine, rather than allowing it to run concurrently in the background.

Currently the NERF effort is focused on Intel hardware while the Coreboot developers acknowledge the latest AMD chips are closed up too and "Don’t believe all you read about Ryzen."

Those wishing to learn more can see Minnich's ELCE 2017 PDF slides while no video recording is yet available.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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