Microsoft Comes Up With A New System To Protect Your Device's Firmware
Aadhya Khatri - Oct 22, 2019
As hackers are turning to firmware to carry out attacks, Microsoft has joined hand with PC manufacturers to launch the Secured-core PC initiative
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Hackers are turning to firmware more to carry out their attacks. The reason for this is first, firmware is extremely important for any device, as it determines the way software and hardware work with each other. The other reason is firmware is often written by hardware manufacturers instead of developers like Microsoft. So there are countless risks and vulnerabilities.
To deal with this way of hacking, Microsoft has joined hands with manufacturers of PC to launch the Secured-core PC initiative to change the way it works with firmware.
With the new system in place, the processor’s trust in the firmware will be limited, and the bootloader of Microsoft will be the one that gives instructions. What Microsoft aims at is to create a secure path for the processor to boot your computer. One of the advantages of such a system is that it can prevent attacks instead of just detecting the threats.
With Windows 8, users have had a function named Secure Boot that authenticates bootloader to ensure that it has no potential risk. This system has an issue though. It needs to trust the firmware first. So because it works assuming that the firmware is not compromised, Secure Boot will be useless if hackers target the firmware itself.
To make sure that all the devices featuring processors from major chipmakers have the protection of Secure-core PC, Microsoft is working with Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, and others to integrate the secure encryption keys right to the chips.
The new system relies heavily on hardware to be able to work, so there is no way you can download it to the existing device. However, it is highly likely that your next device will have the system by default. One of the first to have the new security measure is the Surface Pro X from the company, with Lenovo, Panasonic, and Dell will soon follow.