I bet you did not know this, but the NSA and/or any other Government agency can get remote access over your computer, even when turned off! How about that?!
By remote access, I mean that your privacy is zero, even if you’re not connected to the internet, or you have your hard drive encrypted. It does not matter.
The Intel Core vPro CPU comes with a backdoor built in. It contains a secret 3G chip, that basically allows a third party to access your hard drive, your webcam, to remotely shut down the PC, you name it! It’s the real ghost in the machine!
This technology is nothing new for the “insiders” in the industry. But after the NSA spying scandal, some people started to ask questions.
This secret 3G chip was introduced two years ago, in 2011 as a security enhancement. At least that’s what Intel claimed; that with the 3G embedded chip, they will enable their Anti Theft 3.0 technology, which is found on all their I3/I5/I7 CPUs, after Sandy Bridge. Intel’s marketing claims that the 3G “secret” chip allows easier maintenance over your computer, because it doesn’t require the computer to be turned on in order to fix the problems remotely.
According to Jeff Marek, the director of business client engineering (an Intel employee), all processors built on the Sandy Bridge platform (after 2011) have, let me quote him on that; “the ability to remotely kill and restore a lost or stolen PC via 3G”.
Long story short, the Core Vpro CPUs come with a secondary physical processor built into the main CPU, which has its own Operating System embedded on itself.
Jim Stone wrote an article describing how the “backdoor” actually works;
“As long as the power supply is available and in working condition, it can be woken up by the Core vPro processor, which runs on the system’s phantom power and is able to quietly turn on individual hardware components and access anything on them.”
This backdoor technology was promoted as an easier way for IT experts to take care of the problems on your PC/Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone/YouNameIt. But it doesn’t take too much imagination to realize what it really means for the NSA: full access on the entire content of everyone’s hard drive, even if the computer is turned off and not connected to the Internet!
According to TG Daily, this is a privacy nightmare! Actually, privacy is just a fancy word for the worst 1984 scenario:
“This combination of hardware from Intel enables vPro access ports, which operate independently of normal user operations. These include out-of-band communications (communications that exist outside of the scope of anything the machine might be doing through an OS or hypervisor), monitoring and the altering of incoming and outgoing network traffic. In short, it operates covertly and snoops and can potentially manipulate data.”
Wow! That just plain sucks, guys!!!
Btw, if we still had computer power supplies with “hard switches” (on/off), then this wouldn’t even be an issue!