We take a look at differences observed in firmware security posture as mapped by CHIPSEC on a custom Winterfell node AMI based firmware vs. LinuxBoot w/ u-root. Using the findings as back-light, we also give an introduction to:
a) tools for conducting firmware security research - Flashrom, Chipsec, Dediprog, Winterfell standalone node and a few more.
b) alternatives to manufacturer firmware like LinuxBoot w/ u-root
c) also demonstrating web-based:
i) in-depth analysis for submitted firmware images - It's " brain " is growing at a healthy/steady clip of firmware already analyzed. There is also a cmdline JSON based API for it that will be made available during the talk.
ii) Winterfell access with bios emulation - service is now in alpha with full shell access within a subset of u-root community with following functions all on point ( these will eventually be available as API ) :
- Get SPI Flash emulator status
- Stop emulator
- Start emulator (the firmware parameter is the firmware the user wants to be tested)
- Start the server through hard power on
- Stop the server through hard power off
We will introduce during this talk the work that we perform to automatize firmware testing based on linuxboot firmware project. The intend is to analyze the various challenges faced during CI implementation including node bricking management, firmware upload to testing nodes as well as testing result analysis. Our work is performed on Open Compute Hardware.