UEFI Secure Boot – Windows 8 vs Linux

Last week, Microsoft showcased Windows 8 PCs with super fast boot thanks to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). The latest UEFI standard, released on April 8, includes a secure boot protocol which will be required for Windows 8 clients. Secure UEFI is intended to thwart rootkit infections by requiring keys before allowing executables or drivers to be loaded onto the device. Problem is, such keys can also be used to keep the PC’s owner from wiping out the current OS and installing another option such as Linux. It all started with slide 11 in one Powerpoint presentation entitled “Delivering a secure and fast boot experience with UEFI”  presented by Arie van der Hoeven, Principal Lead Program Manager Microsoft Corporation during Build conference: Secure boot Current issues with boot Growing class of malware targets the boot path Often the only fix is to reinstall the operating system UEFI and secure […]

Bootloader to OS with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification detailing an interface that helps hand off control of the system for the pre-boot environment (i.e.: after the system is powered on, but before the operating system starts) to an operating system, such as Windows or Linux. UEFI aims to provides a clean interface between operating systems and platform firmware at boot time, and supports an architecture-independent mechanism for initializing add-in cards. UEFI will overtime replace vendor-specific BIOS. It also allows for fast boot and support for large hard drives (> 2.2 TB). There are several documents fully defining the UEFI Specification, API and testing requirements: The UEFI Specification (version 2.3.1) describes an interface between the operating system (OS) and the platform firmware. It describes the requirements for the following components, services and protocols: Boot Manager Protocols – Compression Algorithm Specification EFI System Table Protocols – ACPI Protocols GUID Partition Table (GPT) […]