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September 11-14, 2017 - Los Angeles, CA
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Wednesday, September 13 • 11:50am - 12:30pm
Replace Your Exploit-Ridden Firmware with Linux - Ronald Minnich, Google

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With the WikiLeaks release of the vault7 material, the security of the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) firmware used in most PCs and laptops is once again a concern. UEFI is a proprietary and closed-source operating system, with a codebase almost as large as the Linux kernel, that runs when the system is powered on and continues to run after it boots the OS (hence its designation as a “Ring -2 hypervisor"). It is a great place to hide exploits since it never stops running, and these exploits are undetectable by kernels and programs.

Our answer to this is NERF (Non-Extensible Reduced Firmware), an open source software system developed at Google to replace almost all of UEFI firmware with a tiny Linux kernel and initramfs. The initramfs file system contains an init and command line utilities from the u-root project (http://u-root.tk/), which are written in the Go language.

Speakers
RM

Ronald Minnich

SWE, Google
Ron Minnich is a Software Engineer at Google. He has contributed to many open source projects in the last several decades, including the Linux kernel (9p file system); the FreeBSD kernel (rfork); and Plan 9 (many different areas). He directed the team that ported Plan 9 to the Bl... Read More →


Wednesday September 13, 2017 11:50am - 12:30pm
Georgia I/II
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Attendees (10)