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Intel Processor UEFI Source Code Leaked

Exposed code included private key for Intel Boot Guard, meaning it can no longer be trusted, according to a researcher.

Intel has confirmed the leak of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS of Alder Lake, the company's code name for its latest processor — the 12th generation Intel Core processor — which debuted in late 2021. 

According to reports, the Intel UEFI code was first leaked late last week on 4chan, and later GitHub, and it contained 5.97GB of data. It was dated 9-30-22, likely when it was exfiltrated, analysts reported. "In addition, one thing should be noted that the key pairs required by Boot Guard during provisioning stage is also included in the leaked content," researchers from Hardened Vault who analyzed the leaked data explained. 

Researcher Mark Ermolov noted the same thing on Twitter on Oct. 8, adding, "... the Intel Boot Guard on the vendor's platforms can no longer be trusted." 

The researchers at Hardened Vault pointed out the code could be particularly useful for malicious actors who want to reverse engineer the code to find vulnerabilities. 

In a statement provided to Security Week, Intel acknowledged the breach, attributing it to a third-party and downplaying its potential security risk. "Intel does not believe this exposes, or creates, any new security vulnerabilities as we do not rely on obfuscation of information as a security measure," Intel said in a statement. "We are reaching out to customers, partners and the security research community to keep them informed of this situation." 

The Hardened Vault team said it hasn't been able to trace the data back to the leaker but suggested that the developer of the firmware solution, Insyde, might have more information to share. "But it is still impossible to confirm the person who leaked it," the team wrote. "The leak is part of Insyde solution which integrate Intel’s resources. Perhaps Insyde knows more than we do."