Linux Developer Working on Windows 8 Secure Boot Bypass

This is definitely not good news and there has been already a lot of talk going on about the secure boot option of Windows 8. To bypass this, James Bottomley, chair at Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board has made public Intel Tianocore UEFI boot image along with some code. Developers can use this to get around the secure boot option of Windows 8.

So what is Intel Tianocore? Well, it’s an open-source image of Intel’s UEFI. Up until recently, didn’t have Microsoft’s Authenticode that is used for secure boot [PDF] but, now it is equipped with this functionality as well.

Now one may ask why is the work of Bottomley important? It is because it is actually difficult to get hands on hardware that is UEFI secure boot enabled. This will allow people to play with the secure boot and then work out how to bypass the secure boot mechanism.

This will “widen the pool of people who are playing with UEFI Secure boot.  The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board have been looking into this because it turns out to be rather difficult to lay your hands on real UEFI Secure Boot enabled hardware.” Bottomley said.

Now understandably linux developers will benefit from this. But, OEMs will also be able to reap the benefits of it will be hard for them to get on secure boot enabled hardware as well.

One thing to be noted here is that the Tianocore is in alpha stage. For this Bottomley says, “This is very alpha.  The Tianocore firmware that does secure boot is only a few weeks old, and the signing tools weren’t really working up until yesterday, so this is very far from rock solid.”