Hackers seem to have turned to firmware exploits in order to continue their ways and disable computer security. The reasons for this are: the relationship between hardware and software is extremely important to a computer and firmware hacking is bound to provide results. Another issue is that firmware is written by hardware manufacturers and not OS developers. This means that many kinds of firmware exist, each with its own different kinds of vulnerabilities.
As per Microsoft, one solution could offer respite from all these problems. They have entered into a partnership with PC manufacturers and are launching a project called Secured-core PC. Microsoft seems to be thinking about Window’s relationship with firmware and booting devices. It has come up with ‘Secured-core PC’ to combat these issues.
This system uses a processor’s firmware to power the system but launches it instead. This process calls on the Microsoft bootloader for instructions. The aim of creating this framework is to have a safe and reliable path for your processor each time it wants to boot your computer. An advantage of this is that the system fights to prevent hack attacks rather than detecting them.
Since launching Windows 8, the operating system provider has included a Secure Booth feature to check the authenticity of the bootloader to ensure it’s safe. The issue here is that the Secure Boot option trusts the firmware to check each boot software, and works on the assumption that the user will install a safe firmware. However, this means that the option cannot protect your PC when it is under attack.
An implementation of Secured-core PC will see Microsoft working with all major chipmakers like Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, etc. to make processors that will feature secure encryption keys already burned into chips when manufacturing them. The system depends on new hardware to protect your PC and will not let you download a software update for protection against existing firmware attacks. There is a good chance that this feature may come built into the next computer you purchase. The rollout will begin with Microsoft’s Surface Pro X, some Dell, Lenovo and Panasonic laptops.