Everything you need to know about Intel Management Engine

Everything you need to know about Intel Management Engine

Everything you need to know about Intel Management Engine

The Intel Management Engine (Intel Management engine) has been included in Intel chipsets since 2008. This is a processor chip that is placed in the heart of another processor; So that it has full access to different parts of your personal computer such as memory, display, internet, mouse and keyboard. This chip runs the code written by Intel. Codes that Intel has not released much information about how they work.

This software, also known as Intel ME, has been in the spotlight recently due to the creation of security holes and allowing hackers to exploit it. Intel confirmed the existence of a security risk in this software on November 20 of this year and took measures to fix it. The existence of a security hole in software that has full system access is important because it can put all modern devices equipped with Intel chips at risk of hacking.

What is Intel ME?

Intel has provided general information about the nature of the Intel Management Engine software; But it has always refused to provide detailed information about most of the features of this software and how it works.

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According to Intel, the management engine is a small, low-power subsystem processor that performs a variety of tasks during standby, boot, and runtime.

In other words, the Intel management engine is a parallel operating system that runs on It runs on a separate chip; But it has access to all parts of the computer. This access remains valid throughout the computer’s activity, when it is up and even during standby or standby. So; Your system’s hardware including memory, content displayed on the screen, keyboard and even internet can be controlled by this chip and its software.

What we know so far about the Intel management engine is that it is equipped with the operating system MINIX; But in this case, we don’t know exactly what software it uses. This chip is a kind of black box that only Intel knows what’s going on inside.

What is Intel Active Management Technology (AMT)?

Intel’s management engine separates the low-level tasks that does, you have Active Management Technology or AMT for short. EMT is a solution for remote management of servers, desktop computers, laptops and tablets with Intel processors. This feature is intended for large organizations and is not applicable for home users. Contrary to rumors, this feature is not enabled by default.

ATM can be used to remotely turn on, adjust, control, or wipe content on Intel-based computers. Unlike the usual management programs, this program works even if it is not installed on the computer in operating system mode. Intel AMT runs as part of the Intel Management Engine. Therefore, organizations can remotely control systems without Windows installed.

In May 2017, Intel announced a security hole in EMT that could allow hackers to access EMT. without any password; But this risk only threatened users who have activated EMT in their system. Therefore, it did not include most home users. Only organizations that used AMT should have worried about this problem and updated their computers’ firmware.

Another point is that AMT is only for personal computers. Although the new MacBooks use Intel processors, they only support the Intel Management Engine and do not include EMT.

Is it possible to disable EMT?

Intel Management Engine or Intel ME cannot be disabled. Even if you can disable EMT in your system’s BIOS, Intel MA will remain enabled and running as part of the processor along with its software. Currently, this chip is present in all systems using Apple processors, and there is no way to disable it.

Although Intel does provide a way to disable it. does not provide its own management engine, some users have managed to disable it through trial and error. Disabling this feature is not easy and it must be said that it is impossible for normal users. Professional hackers were able to do this with a lot of effort. Intel is probably not happy with these successes and will make it harder to disable its management engine in the future.

Why did Intel keep this feature a secret?

Intel doesn’t want competitors to Know the exact work of the management engine software. It also seems that in order to avoid security problems, this company has adopted the policy of “security through anonymity” in this regard, so as not to give enough information to hackers to discover security holes; But as the recent discovery of security holes has shown, security through anonymity is not a guaranteed solution.

You should note that the IME of any software It does not include espionage; Unless an organization has AMT enabled and controls their PCs through it. This means that having an IME software that cannot be disabled and there is no access to its code is certainly a security risk and, as we have seen before, opens the door to hacker attacks.

Does your computer Are you at risk?

On November 20 this year, Intel confirmed the discovery of security holes in MA. This hole allows a hacker to access your system or remotely to perform any action.

Intel Tools has provided to detect the existence of the mentioned security hole in MA and ensure that this problem is fixed.

To use this tool, after downloading the ZIP file, unzip it and click on Intel-SA-00086-GUI. exe double click. Confirm the message in the window that opens to see if your system is vulnerable.

If your computer is vulnerable, you can update the UEFI firmware. Update Intel ME on your system. Your computer manufacturer is responsible for providing this update; So, visit the manufacturer’s website to see if an update has been released for your system’s UEFI or BIOS.

Intel’s website also has a page that There you can see information about the release of updates by different manufacturers. This page is updated at the same time as the support page of PC manufacturers.

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