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Firmware Security. Seattle Privacy Coalition Mtg, Emerald Onion Updates

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Firmware Security. Seattle Privacy Coalition Mtg, Emerald Onion Updates


6:30 – 7 Casual chat, Cryptoparty / PGP key exchange / Signal
Verification, Intro slide(s)

We’ll have pizza! **


7-7:30 Emerald Onion Update

Emerald Onion has been online for 10 months now! They will provide an update of current work, and future ideals. More info at

7:30 – 8:00 Seattle Privacy Coalition General Meeting / Update

SPC Topic(s) TBA
8:00-9:00 – Firmware Malware Self-Defense

Paul English and Lee Fisher, PreOS Security

For attackers, platform firmware is the new software.

Activists, journalists, lawyers – regardless of your threat model, the first steps are to secure the operating system, passwords / phrases, use 2 factor authentication and disk encryption.

Firmware security is an advanced topic, but well worth understanding, particularly with data on portable devices and the risk of the Evil Maid Attack.

Most systems include hundreds of firmwares – UEFI or BIOS, PCIe expansion ROMs, USB controller drivers, s torage controller host and disk/SSD drivers. Firmware-level hosted malware, bare-metal or virtualized, is nearly invisible to normal security detection tools, has full control of your system, and can often continue running even when the system is “powered off”. Security Firms (eg, “Hacking Team” sell UEFI 0days to the highest bidder), and government agencies include firmware-level malware (eg, Wikileak’ed Vault7 CIA EFI malware). Defenders need to catch-up, and learn to defend their systems against firmware-level malware. In this presentation, we’ll cover the NIST SP (147,147b,155,193) secure firmware guidance, for citizens, rather than vendors/enterprises. We’ll discuss the problem of firmware-level malware, and cover some open source tools (FlashROM, CHIPSEC, etc.) to help detect malware on your system. We’llbe discussing a new open source tool we’ve just released to help make it easier for you to do this check.

Paul is CEO and Lee is CTO of PreOS Security, a local firmware security startup focused on helping enterprises defend their systems firmware. Lee co-founded TA3M Seattle, Paul is one of TA3M Seattle’s main organizers. PreOS Security has been funding TA3M’s pizza up until recent Cloudflare transition


Pizza sponsored by Cloudflare.

Be prepared that there will be an opt-out group photo, taken from the back of the room to fulfill the sponsorship requirements.
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