Secret 3G chips from Intel provide a spy backdoor to the PC

17. 09. 2022
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Intel Core vPro processors include a "secret" 3G chip that allows remote both discarding and backdoor access to any computer, even when off. Though technology has been here for some time, it is only beginning to raise concerns about privacy. The 3G, the 2011G chip that joined Intel's XNUMX to its processors, was only a little awkward until it exploded at the beginning of this year as a result of Edward Snowden's revelation of NSA spying.

In a promotional video for this technology, Intel says that these chips actually offer higher security because they do not require computers to "power" and allow problems to be solved remotely. The promotion also highlights the ability of administrators to remotely shut down their PC, "even if the PC is not connected to the network," as well as the ability to bypass hard disk encryption.

"Intel has actually put the 3G radio chip in place to enable Anti-Theft 3.0 anti-theft technology. And since this technology comes from Sandy Bridge on every Core i3 / i5 / i7 CPU, it means that lots of CPUs, not just new vPro, have a secret 3G connection that no one ever knew, "says Softpedia.

Jeff Marek, director of Intel's Business Client Engineering, acknowledged that the Sandy Bridge microprocessor, launched in 2011, has "the ability to remotely destroy and look for a lost or stolen PC over 3G."

"Core vPro processors include a second physical processor embedded in a main processor that has its own operating system embedded in the chip itself," says Jim Stone. "If power is available and is in working order, the Core vPro can be awakened by a processor that runs on the phantom power of the system and is capable of turning on the hardware components and accessing any of them."

While this technology is being promoted as a convenient way for IT experts to remotely troubleshoot PC problems, it also allows hackers or NSAs to shuffle and see the full contents of one's hard drive even if the power is turned off and the computer is not connected to the wi- fi network.

It also allows third parties to remotely dismantle any computer through a "secret" 3G chip embedded in the Intel Sandy Bridge processor. You can also access webcams at a distance.

"This combination of Intel hardware allows vPro to access ports that operate independently of normal user traffic," reports TG Daily. "This includes off-range communication (a communication that exists beyond what anyone could do via the operating system or hypervisor) and monitors and adjusts incoming and outgoing network traffic. In short, it works secretly and spies data and potentially manipulates it. "

This report not only poses a nightmare for privacy but also dramatically increases the risk of industrial espionage.

The ability of third parties to obtain remote 3G access to a PC would also allow unwanted content to be placed on someone's hard drive, allowing news agencies and corrupt law enforcement authorities to both blame and misappropriate.

"Bottom Line? The Core vPro processor shuts down privacy pretensions, "writes Stone. "If you think you'll be encrypting, Norton, or whatever else your privacy will ensure, or even never joining the site, think again. Now there is more than a scarecrow in the machine. "

Paul Joseph Watson
September 26, 2013

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