I haven't delved on all the details and implications of the vulnerability, but I can't shake the suspicion of programmed obsolescence:
- Old Intel chips are vulnerable to a fresh security exploit
http://libreboot.org/faq/#intelme wrote:The Intel Management Engine with its proprietary firmware has complete access to and control over the PC: it can power on or shut down the PC, read all open files, examine all running applications, track all keys pressed and mouse movements, and even capture or display images on the screen. And it has a network interface that is demonstrably insecure, which can allow an attacker on the network to inject rootkits that completely compromise the PC and can report to the attacker all activities performed on the PC. It is a threat to freedom, security, and privacy that can't be ignored.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Active_Management_Technology wrote:AMT relies on a hardware-based out-of-band (OOB) communication channel that operates below the OS level, the channel is independent of the state of the OS (present, missing, corrupted, down). The communication channel is also independent of the PC's power state, the presence of a management agent, and the state of many hardware components (such as hard disk drives and memory).
Intel Microcode Boot Loader is a workaround for the microcode problem on Intel-based motherboards. It updates the microcode every time the system is booted. Based on Intel BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS), users no longer need to modify BIOS/UEFI ROMs to stay protected from security vulnerabilities, bugs and erratas.