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backdoor intel management engine
Intel ME chip which recently became popular is giving sleepless nights to the security community and PC users around the world.

Why? Because the vulnerabilities in the Management Engine chip, running a closed source variant of MINIX OS, can allow attackers to take complete control of a system without the users noticing.

What now? Several PC manufacturers have tried to take advantage of the situation and made attempts to build user trust by offering laptops with Intel ME chip disabled. Yes, probably the chips can be disabled through a feature designed to leave the management engine inoperable on machines purchased by government bodies.

Dell Laptops With Intel ME chip disabled

The American PC manufacturer Dell is willing to disable the vulnerable Intel chip on selected machines if the user is willing to pay $20 fee (spotted by a Reddit user).

You can disable the chip on Dell’s New Latitude 14 Rugged Laptop. Visit the product page and choose “Intel vPro – ME Inoperable, custom order” which will increase the bill amount by $20.92.

The other Dell machines include Latitude 15 E5570 laptop and Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet.

Purism Laptops with Intel ME chip disabled

Purism was probably the first company to announce that their Librem series laptops would come with the Management Engine disabled out of the box. For the Laptops released in the recent past, the company is providing the same via software update. It was a little bit difficult for Purism as their laptops run the open source firmware ‘coreboot’.

You can find Librem13 and Librem 15 shipping with ME firmware disabled at this product page.

System76 Laptop with Intel ME chip disabled

Unlike Dell, System76 is offering to turn off the ME chip on all of their new machines. In a blog post, the company provides the list of all affected laptops.

They have released an open source tool which can be used to disable ME chip on all of their laptops. Users can download the tool from this GitHub page.

Also Read: Intel Is Ending Legacy BIOS Support By 2020 In Favor Of UEFI Class 3
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Aditya Tiwari
When he is not writing for Fossbytes, he is busy eating his daily cheat meal and finding content to binge watch. Please feel free to suggest him some good stuff on Netflix. Reach out at [email protected]

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