In Australia, we can subscribe to an alert service (Stay Smart Online) which today published "Does your business use Intel’s AMT? Then keep reading!" It is the usual generally-worded stuff, not much of a springboard for action.
The SSO article implies only business computer users need be alarmed, although I'm never convinced vulnerabilities know they're confined to offices.
So, does anyone know whether humble John-&-Jane-Citizen users need to take action? If so, what "how-to"s are available, because I couldn't find anything to translate the article's recommendation "If you don’t need AMT, you should disable it in the device BIOS straightaway" into actions.
I looked at:
- IT News - New Intel flaw leaves corporate laptops wide open, which suggests a corporate rather than personal applicability.
- Harry Sintonen's article which, sadly, is way over this gumby's head - Intel® Active Management Technology MEBx Bypass.
- Intel - Intel Q3’17 ME 6.x/7.x/8.x/9.x/10.x/11.x, SPS 4.0, and TXE 3.0 Security Review Cumulative Update (which didn't help me identify my processor).
- Intel - Intel® Management Engine Critical Firmware Update (Intel-SA-00086), which at least led me to Toshiba page (which seemed to indicate my laptop wasn't affected).
I also noted similar conniptions about AMT back in May 2017:
- 2017-05-02 by Eddie Barcellos - Disabling Intel AMT on Windows (and a simpler CVE-2017-5689 Mitigation Guide), on the Silent Bob is Silent vulnerability.
- Tatu Ylonen Updated November 13 2017 - Intel AMT Vulnerability Tracking Page, about the Intel AMT Firmare remote code execution vulnerability of May 1, 2017 (CVE-2017-5689).
- Chris Williams, The Register, 5 May 2017:
How to remote hijack computers using Intel's insecure chips: Just use an empty login string.
How to remote hijack computers using Intel's insecure chips: Just use an empty login string: Now we play the waiting game: Show us the fixes. Both of which I read with a gumby's bewilderment.
To quote Williams (first article): "To recap: Intel provides a remote management toolkit called AMT for its business and enterprise-friendly processors; this software is part of Chipzilla's vPro suite and runs at the firmware level, below and out of sight of Windows, Linux, or whatever operating system you're using."
Again, this seemed to reinforce the idea of different CPUs to what mum and dad (and the kids) would be using. But ... ?
And, is the latest (Sintonen/Google) discovery different to early 2017's or more of the same?