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Microsoft Operating Systems Security Linux

The Linux Foundation's UEFI Secure Boot Pre-Bootloader Delayed 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the threatening-to-become-post-bootloader dept.
hypnosec writes "The Linux Foundation's plans for releasing a signed pre-bootloader that will enable users to install Linux alongside Windows 8 systems with UEFI have been reportedly delayed. The Foundation proposed a signed pre-bootloader that will chain-load a bootloader which, in turn, will boot the desired operating system, thus keeping Linux installations for novice users as simple as it was before. Further, this particular component is meant for small-time Linux distros which otherwise wouldn't have the required expertise or resources to develop their own system to tackle the secure boot issue. This was going as per plans up until Linux kernel maintainer James Bottomley disclosed that he has been having rather bizarre experiences with Microsoft sysdev centre. Bottomley said, 'The first time I sent the loader through, it got stuck (it still is, actually). So I sent another one through after a week or so. That actually produced a download, which I've verified is signed (by the MS UEFI key) and works, but now the Microsoft sysdev people claim it was "improperly" signed and we have to wait for them to sort it out. I've pulled the binary apart, and I think the problem is that it's not signed with a LF [Linux Foundation] specific key, it's signed by a generic one rooted in the UEFI key. I'm not sure how long it will take MS to get their act together but I'm hoping its only a few days." Update: 11/21 14:22 GMT by U L : See the Original weblog post, and one interesting tidbit: Microsoft banned bootloaders licensed under the GPLv3 and "similar open source licenses."
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The Linux Foundation's UEFI Secure Boot Pre-Bootloader Delayed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:33AM (#42053127)

    At least in Europe they'd succeed.

    • by EdZ (755139)
      What for?

      It's a requirement as part of the Windows 8 hardware certification [microsoft.com] (applies not just to laptops and desktops, but to anything that the manufacturer wants to put the 'works with Windows 8' logo on, e.g. motherboards) that:
      a) You be able to disable secure boot
      b) You be able to enter your own keys into secure boot (either through adding them to the existing keychain, or wiping the keychain and adding keys)

      Here's the relevant legalese from MS:

      Mandatory. On non-ARM systems, the platform MUST implement the ability for a physically present user to select between two Secure Boot modes in firmware setup: "Custom" and "Standard". Custom Mode allows for more flexibility as specified in the following: It shall be possible for a physically present user to use the Custom Mode firmware setup option to modify the contents of the Secure Boot signature databases and the PK. This may be implemented by simply providing the option to clear all Secure Boot databases (PK, KEK, db, dbx), which puts the system into setup mode.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SampleFish (2769857)
      Why is MS the one signing the bootloader in the first place? Shouldn't there be a neutral root authority like there is for any other certificate in the world? To make Linux developers ask Microsoft to sign their bootloaders sounds like a very clear conflict of interest.
  • Not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gagol (583737) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:35AM (#42053143)
    Somehow, thay can sign town of apps and drivers on a regular basis, but signing teeny tiny code for FSF got screwed... It only validate, in my opinion, this whole secure boot shit was meant to give alternative OS a hard time.
    • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:43AM (#42053179)

      town of apps

      So that's why they called their UI Metro.
      Always wondered about that

    • Not surprised at all (Score:5, Interesting)

      by boorack (1345877) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:51AM (#42053223)
      As of now we know that Win8 is vulnerable to a huge chunk of malware designed for older versions of Windows. This "UEFI Secure Boot" does not prevent it at all. I suspected earlier that UEFI Secure Boot wasn't designed to make PCs more secure but rather to lock down PCs, so novice users trying to check out some Linux distribution will have tough time doing so. This fiasco makes me sure that this was the case and makes me wonder why antitrust authorities don't do anything about this. This is potentially more harmful than MSIE case after all.
      • As of now we know that Win8 is vulnerable to a huge chunk of malware designed for older versions of Windows.

        Citation (badly) needed.

        • Windows 8 was tested and found to be invulnerable [thenextweb.com] to about 85% of all previous Windows 7 malware. That means there's about 15% of old malware that can infect the new hotness. Depends on your perspective for the precise phrasing, but 'huge chunk' is not completely false.

      • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:32AM (#42053455)

        As of now we know that Win8 is vulnerable to a huge chunk of malware designed for older versions of Windows.

        Secure Boot was designed to block malware from successfully inserting itself into the boot chain to bypass OS security measures, and that's it. Beyond that it's up to the OS to block malware from running in ring 0 or ring 3, which comes down to AV scanning, code signing, and any privilege escalation exploits abused by malware. Secure Boot closes off one important vector for malware, not all of them.

        • by Paul Jakma (2677) <paul+slashdot@jakma.org> on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:11AM (#42053665) Homepage Journal

          What people really want is that their running code is verified to be running the way it is supposed to be. This requires formal proofs of code operation - which is notoriously difficult (and impossible to do generally with arbitrary software). SecureBoot does not give that, it only attests the code image *started* as the one it was supposed to be, according to the trust anchor. SecureBoot can however make the lives of ordinary users difficult. For now, we have the ability to use our own trust anchor, or none at all. Microsoft can't yet afford to block users from running all the non-SecureBoot OSes - as these include older Windows releases.

          It's sad that so many Linux distributions and foundations are going along with this.

          • by hAckz0r (989977) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:00AM (#42054421)
            Yes they can and will. That is all a part of the 'forced upgrade' plan to wealth. Microsoft will do most anything to make running an old OS more painful so you will be forced to buy from them again and again. I listen to the trials and tribulations of my coworkers trying to keep their ageing xp machines running on a daily basis. One is forced by M$ to keep the machine off the net because M$ decided that his license (part of a larger sitewide license) is now counterfit. Its used for malware testing so it does not belong on the net in the first place, but restoring and re-patching it every time it is used is a royal pain.
          • by smash (1351)

            What people really want is that their running code is verified to be running the way it is supposed to be

            And to do that, you need to know that all code running in the system has not been compromised. Starting with the boot-loader. if the boot loader is compromised, then ALL bets are off - you can't be sure that whatever hardware/software interrogation method you are using isn't being lied to something intercepting it at a lower level.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:21AM (#42053707)

          Secure Boot closes off one nowadays almost completely irrelevant vector for malware, not all of them.

          FTFY.

          • The "best" (hardest to remove) rootkits still infect the boot sector. I just had to deal with one a few days ago.

          • by clarkn0va (807617)

            Secure Boot closes off one nowadays almost completely irrelevant vector for malware

            Of course if that were really true then MS would look very silly for all the effort they've dumped into it. In fact, their efforts only really make sense once you redefine Linux and other alternative-to-Windows OSes as malware. When you consider that free software (especially operating systems, web browsers and office suites) have proven a far bigger threat to MS's bottom line than any or all real malware combined, the secure boot campaign starts to really make a lot of sense.

        • " Beyond that it's up to the OS to block malware from running in ring 0 or ring 3"

          The solution to that is as simple as it is OS independent. Simply run the ARM versionj ;-)

      • by DrXym (126579)
        I'm not surprised if a chunk of malware still happens to work on the latest OS, especially through a normal BIOS which has no secure boot. Not all malware roots the system or replaces critical files and even if they did a legacy system has no way of knowing.

        Even under UEFI, the secure boot would be responsible for ensuring the OS loader and firmware drivers were correctly signed before executing them. Assuming they were then it's not responsible for exploits which happen down the chain. I assume Windows 8

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Stop buying MS hardware! Prices will drop...

        The free software and open source software advocates merely need to stop buying hardware dependent on and designed for proprietary operating systems. There are options that are becoming very popular. The major issue right now is there are a lot of people too cheap to realize the difference between a $400 POS laptop with Microsoft Windows which has higher specs and your typical higher quality laptops smaller companies are shipping with Linux. Even if the hardware

      • by Wattos (2268108) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:01AM (#42053617)

        Maybe the "Secure" in "UEFI Secure Boot" referes to securing Microsofts Monopoly and existence in the OS market?

      • Regulatory capture.
        The last fed lawsuit was less to do with them bundling i.e. With windows and more to do with them not giving the regulatory agency's $.

      • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @08:04AM (#42053939)

        As of now we know that Win8 is vulnerable to a huge chunk of malware designed for older versions of Windows. This "UEFI Secure Boot" does not prevent it at all. I suspected earlier that UEFI Secure Boot wasn't designed to make PCs more secure but rather to lock down PCs, so novice users trying to check out some Linux distribution will have tough time doing so. This fiasco makes me sure that this was the case and makes me wonder why antitrust authorities don't do anything about this. This is potentially more harmful than MSIE case after all.

        If you(and others here) really want to educate yourself instead of spreading karmawhoring FUD, please read on.

        Here are some references about boot malware which UEFI secure boot will prevent.

        http://www.chmag.in/article/sep2011/rootkits-are-back-boot-infection [chmag.in]

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/16/tdl_rootkit_does_64_bit_windows/ [theregister.co.uk]

        http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217953/Rootkit_infection_requires_Windows_reinstall_says_Microsoft [computerworld.com]

        I recommend reading atleast the first link.

        Here's one juicy bit:

        TDL4 is the most recent high tech and widely spread member of the TDSS family rootkit, targeting x64 operating systems too such as Windows Vista and Windows 7. One of the most striking features of TDL4 is that it is able to load its kernel-mode driver on systems with an enforced kernel-mode code signing policy (64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista and 7) and perform kernel-mode hooks with kernel-mode patch protection policy enabled.

        When the driver is loaded into kernel-mode address space it overwrites the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the disk by sending SRB (SCSI Request Block) packets directly to the miniport device object, then it initializes its hidden file system. The bootkit’s modules are written into the hidden file system from the dropper.

        The TDL4 bootkit controls two areas of the hard drive one is the MBR and other is the hidden file system created at the time of malware deployment. When any application reads the MBR, the bootkit changes data and returns the contents of the clean MBR i.e. prior to the infection, and also it takes care of Infected MBR by protecting it from overwriting.

        The hidden file system with the malicious components also gets protected by the bootkit. So if any application is making an attempt to read sectors of the hard disk where the hidden file system is stored, It will return zeroed buffer instead of the original data.

        The bootkit contains code that performs additional checks to prevent the malware from the cleanup. At every start of the system TDL4 bootkit driver gets loaded and initialized properly by performing tasks as follows: Reads the contents of the boot sector, compares it with the infected image stored in hidden file system, if it finds any difference between these two images it rewrites the infected image to the boot sector. Sets the DriverObject field of the miniport device object to point to the bootkit’s driver object and also hooks the DriverStartIo field of the miniport’s driver object. If kernel debugging is enabled then this TDL4 does not install any of it’s components.

        TDL4 Rootkit hooks the ATAPI driver i.e. standard windows miniport drivers like atapi.sys. It keeps Device Object at lowest in the device stack, which makes a lot harder to dump TDL4 files.

        All these striking features have made TDL4 most notorious Windows rootkit and it is also very important to mention that the key to its success is the boot sector infection.

        Another bit:

        The original MBR and driver component are stored in encrypted form using the same encryption. Driver component hooks ATAPI's DriverStartIo

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @08:51AM (#42054317) Homepage

        Actually UEFI does prevent a huge amount of it, and most important all the worst stuff that was beyond the ability of AV software to get rid of. Remember all those fake anti-virus scams? They installed a rootkit that changed the low level SATA driver which is loaded very early in the boot process. UEFI prevents an OS modified in that way from booting and the Windows 8 recovery system can detect and fix it.

    • Re:Not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:02AM (#42053263) Homepage

      Something about contributing to stupidity instead of malice.
      I'm guessing since MS has to sign these bootloaders for relatively few cases, they're doing it atleast part manually.

      • by l3v1 (787564)
        "Something about contributing to stupidity instead of malice."

        Well, there's a part of an edifying story going something like: - How old are you, my prince? - 25 (*) - And you still believe in fairytales?

        (*) Number doesn't really matter, but reflects age greater than childhood.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Something about contributing to stupidity instead of malice.

        You're referring to Hanlon's Razor, which says never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

        However, mcgrew's razor trumps Hanlon's: Never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by greedy self-interest.

        • by idontgno (624372)

          Interesting: a hierarchy of motivations.

          Amoral greed > stupidity or apathy > disintrested evil

          Of course, much greed is evil, or is described as such. So Hanlon's Razor appears to be contradicted in many of these "market cases".

    • Signing of apps and signing of drivers is handled by completely different people; I would imagine that signing of boot loaders is another, new group. This may well be their very first submission, so things may not go exactly as planned.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Somehow, thay can sign town of apps and drivers on a regular basis, but signing teeny tiny code for FSF got screwed... It only validate, in my opinion, this whole secure boot shit was meant to give alternative OS a hard time.

      Actually I'm generally not a Microsoft fan but I'd reserve judgement on this. Signing boot-loaders to be authorised by the hardware is likely to be a different procedure and done by different people to signing drivers. They probably have not done this often and when they have it will have been mostly with their own generic key. I can easily put this down to mistakes, and if they sort it out promptly I see no reason to put it down to ill will.

      • Why should Microsoft be involved though? Surely which bootloader gets installed is between me and my motherboard, no?
  • Present user test? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204)

    Does that mean the user has to actually be present to press a key? That renders secure boot unuseable on remote-admined or unattended servers, the very place you would most want to have a secure boot chain.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:59AM (#42053245)

      Likely to be much less of an issue on proper server hardware; most server vendors know full well a significant amount of the hardware they shift will never run Windows.

      • A lot of servers aren't 'proper' server hardware. Sometimes consumer-grade is good enough, espicially when it's so much cheaper you can have redundent everything. Think clusters.

        • A lot of servers aren't 'proper' server hardware. Sometimes consumer-grade is good enough, espicially when it's so much cheaper you can have redundent everything. Think clusters.

          Even more than that. If you have a UPS and the server is never switched off, then power supplies and fans tend to last for ever if they are of an even remotely reasonable quality. The thing that kills power supplies most is heat death from inadequate cooling, and tedundant powersupplies don't help much there since they will both be

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Easily rectified. If you have a "real" server, use IPMI. Otherwise something like a teensy or a programmable mouse.

    • Does that mean the user has to actually be present to press a key? That renders secure boot unuseable on remote-admined or unattended servers, the very place you would most want to have a secure boot chain.

      User only needs to press a key during initial installation, after that it should boot unattended just fine: "If the user gives permission, the signature will be installed and loader.efi will then boot up without any present user tests on all subsequent occasions even after the platform is placed back into secure boot mode." http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2012/10/linux-foundation-uefi-secure-boot-system-open-source [linuxfoundation.org]

      • Does that mean the user has to actually be present to press a key? That renders secure boot unuseable on remote-admined or unattended servers, the very place you would most want to have a secure boot chain.

        User only needs to press a key during initial installation, after that it should boot unattended just fine: "If the user gives permission, the signature will be installed and loader.efi will then boot up without any present user tests on all subsequent occasions even after the platform is placed back into secure boot mode." http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2012/10/linux-foundation-uefi-secure-boot-system-open-source [linuxfoundation.org]

        So I won't have to go around to every classroom and every pc and click OK when I do my monthly wipe and reimage?

        • User only needs to press a key during initial installation, after that it should boot unattended just fine: "If the user gives permission, the signature will be installed and loader.efi will then boot up without any present user tests on all subsequent occasions even after the platform is placed back into secure boot mode." http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2012/10/linux-foundation-uefi-secure-boot-system-open-source [linuxfoundation.org]

          So I won't have to go around to every classroom and every pc and click OK when I do my monthly wipe and reimage?

          If I understand correctly, even reinstallation does not need user attention as long as loader.efi doesn't change. But that's based only on my reading of the article I quoted, so I could be wrong.

    • by smash (1351)
      You've heard of ILO? iDRAC? Remote KVM? Real server hardware has such things.
  • by DMiax (915735) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:44AM (#42053185)

    So, instead of signing with a scrap key that vendors will ignore they signed essentially with the original one, so that this bootloader will work on any PC that follows the standard? This is so awesome I don't even know at what to laugh first.

    I wish LF just released this bootloader and defuse all this "secure boot" crap. Of course they will play nice and allow Microsoft to save their face... Microsoft incompetence is just appalling. They will probably end up signing malware by accident at some point, but at least you won't be able to run Linux on your PC, so mission accomplished.

    • by someones (2687911)

      If they did now, M$ would replace the broken key and its gone.
      BUT, if they wait for the time when this secure boot crap really hits the market and THEN release this bootloader, M$ wont be able to revoke this key, as too many vendors allready included it and many would not go thru this crap again.

      So it would be strategically wise to wait like 3 years and THEN release this one to essentially kill secure boot.

  • Wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:45AM (#42053191) Homepage
    We have to ask Microsoft for permission now before they give us a key that lets us install Linux on our own machines?

    This is seriously not good, lads. They still have the monopoly so we should sue them till the last toothpick in their Redmond HQ are belong to us.
    • Or just disable secure boot, which is amazingly easy to do in the first place. If a novice user can properly install Linux, that same novice user can be directed to disable this stupid function.

      • Re:Wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by turkeyfeathers (843622) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:11AM (#42053667)

        Or just disable secure boot, which is amazingly easy to do in the first place.

        For now.

      • by linebackn (131821)

        > Or just disable secure boot, which is amazingly easy to do in the first place. If a novice user can properly install Linux, that same novice user can be directed to disable this stupid function.

        To repeat what I have said before: how well will that really work in practice?

        You: "Hey, I need to boot my Linux USB drive on your computer, is that OK?"
        Friend: "Uh, sure, I guess."
        Friend: "Uh, it isn't working."
        You: "Oh, I need to go in to your bios and disable SecureBoot."
        Friend: "Duh, you aren't disabling any

        • Those theoretical friends have some serious trust issues, especially if they're not even willing to listen to the reason why it needs to be done or what it even "secures". I'm surprised he was even willing to boot a foreign OS in the first place.

    • Disabling secure boot allows this no problem.

    • by amorsen (7485)

      Feel free to run your own PKI and get the root keys included by the vendors. The option has been seriously considered by some of the larger Linux players, but it is just too expensive to do. Note that getting the root key included was not considered to be the main obstacle, it was the "run your own PKI" bit which killed the idea.

      That is also why this is not news. PKI is hard, all of the major SSL signature vendors except one have made really stupid mistakes already. It is no wonder that Microsoft messes up

    • by LinuxNeverWindows (2590581) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:50AM (#42053555)
      The way of breaking that monopoly is to replace UEFI on machines with CoreBoot (http://www.coreboot.org/Welcome_to_coreboot). This still does not support enough hardware but given a bit of support from Linux friendly companies (e.g. Clevo, IBM etc) it could be done. To see CoreBoot in action have a look at the Samsung ChromeBook with CoreBoot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RypqMqtTPs8).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kiwimate (458274)

      We have to ask Microsoft for permission now before they give us a key that lets us install Linux on our own machines?

      I count three incorrect assumptions in this one statement.

      Short answer: no, and see the other answers as to why it's no.

      Long answer: no, and I'm not really that bothered that someone doesn't know this. What does bother me is that this got modded up to +5 Insightful.

      Remember the days when Slashdot used to have technical people hovering around these pages?

      • by dch24 (904899)
        I'm a technical person. To quote you: "I'm not really that bothered" that someone like you doesn't believe that I am.

        Why should I have to ask Microsoft for permission to create my linux distro? You are pretty ignorant to think that this is not important.
  • Given the number of server side linux installs on x86 machines the PC manufacturers are not going to shoot themselves in the foot and not supply machines that linux can be (pre)installed on. They'll probably have a Windows compatable line and a Linux compatible line. At least for servers. For desktops and laptops things could get a bit tricky I suppose, but then I was under the impression all this secure boot crap could be switched off in the BIOS anyway?

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      As I understand it, UEFI is not a requirement for Win8, instead it's additional expenses for hardware manufacturers.
      I'm guessing very few machines will actually have UEFI. Just some of the more expensive business models.

      • As I understand it, UEFI is not a requirement for Win8,

        AFAIK Windows 8 doesn't require UEFI, but the vendors are required to implement it in order to be able to use the "Designed for Windows 8" stickers. I think they're also required to enable it by default. x86 vendors can have an option in the BIOS to allow it to be turned off (I imagine the vendors who largely sell servers will do this whilst the cheap brands won't because implementing a "off" option would cost them a few pennies more in coding time). As I understand it, MS has mandated that ARM machines

        • Last I heard, Apple had clawed it's way back to the top in some fashion... maybe the most profitable PC vendor? Anyway, they are pretty big and successful. Do they have this sticker? I doubt it. I'm thinking that a bunch of stickers all over your product detracts from the styling. A PC covered in gaudy do-dads looks like shit next to a PC with nice clean styling.

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:04AM (#42053275) Homepage
    Microsoft has also banned any GNU GPLv3 licences for these binaries [muktware.com].

    'When you get to this stage, you also have to certify that the binary " to be signed must not be licensed under GPLv3 or similar open source licenses". I assume the fear here is key disclosure but it's not at all clear (or indeed what "similar open source licences" actually are).'
    • by bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:36AM (#42053481) Homepage

      This restriction is imposed by the GPLv3 not by Microsoft. They are just being helpful in letting you know, they can't give specifics for all other licensees out there.

      • by l3v1 (787564) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:46AM (#42053825)
        What? GPLv3 doesn't allow a binary of the software to be signed with a key? Do you have a citation for that? Cause it sounds... interesting.
        • by l3v1 (787564) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:49AM (#42053839)
          Nevermind, I looked around myself: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GiveUpKeys [gnu.org]

          It says:

          "I use public key cryptography to sign my code to assure its authenticity. Is it true that GPLv3 forces me to release my private signing keys?

          No. The only time you would be required to release signing keys is if you conveyed GPLed software inside a User Product, and its hardware checked the software for a valid cryptographic signature before it would function. In that specific case, you would be required to provide anyone who owned the device, on demand, with the key to sign and install modified software on his device so that it will run. If each instance of the device uses a different key, then you need only give each purchaser the key for his instance.
          "
        • by idontgno (624372)

          It's "Tivoization [wikipedia.org]": GPL software that can be modified and compiled, but the intended hardware will refuse to run it unless the binary is cryptographically signed...and the hardware vendor holds the keys and isn't sharing.

          GPL 2.0 had no protections against this particular end-run on the "anyone can modify, anyone can use" philosophy of Free Software. Tivo very cleverly used this loophole to "protect" their devices from "unauthorized" software modifications (i.e., they used Linux kernel and GNU userland, but

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      Stop raking up shit with stupid karmawhoring paranoid crap.

      If the UEFI binary was GPLv3 (not GPL like in your title, GPL v1 and v2 are good), then anyone distributing the binary will have to release the signing key, which defeats the whole purpose of UEFI secure boot signing since it will allow malware creators to sign their own malicious bootloaders with the key.

      Why don't you GPL v3 your bank accounts and passwords and release them? OMG DGHARMON BANS GPL FOR HIS INFO. +5 INFORMATIVE

      While the ignorance in t

    • So does that mean that the FSF is going to release a binary without source code? How ironic.

      • So does that mean that the FSF is going to release a binary without source code? How ironic.

        No, the Linux Foundation. And no, it doesn't mean they'll release a binary without source code - it just means that the binary presented for signing must not be licensed as GLPv3 (or similar, whatever that means).

  • What am I missing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:06AM (#42053287) Homepage
    So the Linux Foundation, quite rightly, are trying to make available a signed bootloader which will then anyone boot whatever we want without having to disable secure boot - have I got that right? What stops someone monkeying around with the next level of abstraction?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As you have noticed, the system is retarded and unworkable.

    • So the Linux Foundation, quite rightly, are trying to make available a signed bootloader which will then anyone boot whatever we want without having to disable secure boot - have I got that right? What stops someone monkeying around with the next level of abstraction?

      Not exactly. It will require a physically present user to click though a warning message before booting the "next level of abstraction".

    • When running in secure mode the system will run only code signed by your distro. If you want to run arbitrary code you need to install your own keys and sign your code or else disable secure boot.

  • by efornara (1165681) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @06:16AM (#42053337)

    I know that new laptops shipping with Windows 8 preloaded have to allow the user to disable secure boot.

    Now that some laptops are out there, does anyone know if disabling secure boot will still let you run Windows, ideally even after its partition has been resized? Or will the preinstalled Windows just refuse to boot if secure boot has been switched off?

  • Sounds like another anti-trust case. I will be putting Unbuntu on my next machine and if I can't do it I will be asking for my money back and getting pi, though I might getting a pi anyway as they are much cheaper than a 'nomal laptop / netook'.

  • is my surprised face:
  • by lasermike026 (528051) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @07:09AM (#42053657)
    Microsoft as gatekeeper to PC hardware is a non-starter. You can not have one company determine who will and will not use a PC. When I mean use I mean loading the operating system of the user's choice. That is using a computer, running the programs and operating system that the owner of the computer wants. One company determining how a user will use their computer best example of a monopoly.
  • by pointyhat (2649443) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:19AM (#42054641)

    It has been proven recently that the whole WinTel PC thing and the associated lock in is on its way out as UEFI Secure Boot would be as well. ARM and Linux is where everything appears to be heading. Look at all the Android tablets and phones, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard etc. Even Apple is rumored to be looking at ARM for newer laptops and are throwing their own cores together.

    It's only a matter of time...

    • (Failing != failed) && (going down != zero)

      MS has a hold on the PC strong enough to survive several years, even if their management insist on their current suicide style of doing business. They can make a lot of problems even if they fail, and they can be a huge problem if they somehow get their heads over their shoulders.

  • I don't see how anyone could have seen this coming.

  • "I've pulled the binary apart, and I think the problem is that it's not signed with a LF [Linux Foundation] specific key, it's signed by a generic one rooted in the UEFI key."

    Please, "leak" that one immediately. It would tear huge holes in "Secure Boot".

  • Bootloader signing must be controlled by a neutral third party. Not Microsoft. Anything less is simply anticompetitive and will end badly.

    Reading between the lines, you can clearly hear Microsoft management waffling around muttering "Uh, we need to find a way to fuck open source harder"

  • Even if MS assured everyone that cooperating was in its own long term best interest, and even if we all believed that, believing that they would actually cooperate is foolish. Have we not all heard of The Scorpion and the Frog?
  • What clowns thought that giving Microsoft, I mean, Microsoft, the keys to PC bootloader was a good idea?

    • by smash (1351)
      No one gave microsoft anything. They are simply requiring compliance with secure boot to get a made for Windows 8 logo. Don't want secure boot? Don't build/sell/buy hardware with it.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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