Question Intel® Pentium® N5030 Burst up to 3.1GHz, with 4MB Cache - does it also contain Intel Management Engine to start a netbook

Nov 28, 2021
3
0
10
0
Hi,
I'm considering to buy netbook which uses CoreBoot or AMI for UEFI from open source hardware vendor 1.1GHz quad-core Intel® Pentium® N5030 Burst up to 3.1GHz, with 4MB Cache. The vendor says that this CPU works without co-processor Intel Management Engine (nothing to neutralize, because for this particular CPU it is not present). To be honest I do not belive him that Intel produced such device. It is too beautiful to be true. Personally I think this device is too cheap to do neutralization job for them - they prefer to focus on more expensive computers.

Is it technically possible to start such processor without Intel Management Engine or another microcontroller? I heard that the only possible solution is neutralization (me_cleaner), however some companies might have better ideas to achive this. From the business point of view it makes sense to release such CPU because this is redundant stuff which potentially might be dangerous and also has too many permission to access IO without user permissions: however I think that Intel is forced to do it.

I can of course do a detection job after purchasing, but later returning the new computer or losing a warranty is pointless. Especially when shipping to another country.

But maybe the vendor is saying true and this is simple and secure processor? What do you think?

Personally I think it is not true and this CPU also required Intel ME to be started and goes with all the risk related with this microcontroller.

I can easily detect if computer contains ME when I have a device on my desk. But I do not want the device which I will be forced to return back and lose time on unsecure solutions.

Best regards,
M
 
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2021
3
0
10
0
As I understand ME is independent computer used for example to surveil NSA enemies or remotely enable / disable computer / change password / undetectable keylogger. So this is potentially useful with AMT for remote station / server management. This is reason why I do not want it for busieness. CPU doesn't need it, however I'm not cerain if UEFI can start without it and I need to study the start procedure. If somebody is not USA citizen than should not be suirvailed by USA technologies. However, sometimes we have no choice and for example chinese vendors are not easy to buy especially in Europe it is not really welcome to use it.


If I got a CPU I could run a test tool:

However this is not yet on my desk. I really do not understand why not server computers / business workstation need such devices. The simpler the better.

The device cost is 400 GBP.
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
149,386
9,805
175,890
23,384
It is a small integral part of Intel CPUs. Has been in there for years.
AMD has similar.

It is used for remote management in a corporate environment.


Can it be a vulnerability issue? Sure, just like anything else.
Your WiFi, the phone in your pocket, a laser reading the vibrations of your house windows, your TV...

No one is hacking through the IME to get into your PC.
 
Nov 28, 2021
3
0
10
0
Nobody will convirm that because it used to surveil potential terrorists as a result od 11th September 2011 and everyone is a potential terrorist. Everyone can scan the system for potential vulnerabilities for example ME-000086:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025619/software.html
Quite a lot devices are vulnerable.

The AMD has similar TrustedZone solution and Apple also probably something similar. But I'm asking if N5030 can really start UEFI without this. If this is true this is CPU unicorn.

Basically from USA vendors I like Intel the most because they provide nice tools to detect potential backdoors.

This is the reasons why there is always a job to erase it when we are forced to work with USA technologies: https://github.com/corna/me_cleaner

The question is N5030 a CPU unicorn (ME not needed to start UEFI) or this is bullshit?
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS