Secrets Of The Motherboard (Shit My Chipset Says) presented at 44con 2017

by Graham Sutherland,

Summary : Modern motherboards are fairly daunting pieces of hardware. They’re full of closed-source firmware, undocumented and obscure parts, incredibly complex components, and are developed by people with vast domain-specific knowledge. They’re also full of exciting security-impacting technologies like IME, AMT, SMM, TPM, and UEFI. But, despite the apparent difficulty, what if we took a stab at trying to understand these devices and what security looks like at the bare-metal level? The real secret is that it’s not as hard as it looks.This talk runs through a list of weird and wonderful things I found while reading datasheets for Intel chipsets and other motherboard parts. Along the way we’ll explore unusual functionality not intended for production use, features we can exploit to build more open platforms, potential security pitfalls in motherboard design, and the challenges faced by certain industries in attempting to secure hardware for reuse.