Which firmware in common laptops

Simon Josefsson simon at josefsson.org
Mon Mar 2 13:58:58 UTC 2015

Paul van der Vlis <paul-kzJ6NpsJWJiWrUy98/Atqw at public.gmane.org> writes:

> Op 02-03-15 om 11:24 schreef Simon Josefsson:
>> Paul van der Vlis
>> <paul-kzJ6NpsJWJiWrUy98/Atqw-XMD5yJDbdMReXY1tMh2IBg at public.gmane.org>
>> writes:
>>> Hello,
>>> I try to make a list of devices in common laptops what has it's own
>>> firmware:
>> Nice list!  Analysing each firmware further could be quite interesting.
> Thanks. An important point is: "can the firmware be updated or not".

I think there are a couple of interesting questions:

 1) Is there non-free firmware that can be updated?  This leads to the
 possibility of writing free software firmware-replacements.

 2) Is there any technical restrictions on the updating procedures?
 Some hardware may require cryptographically signed firmware in order to
 update.  This has to be circumvented to replace the firmware.

 3) What security problems are there in the firmware that is bad for the
 user?  I initially wrote "Is there security problems" but we all know
 that any non-trivial software has bugs.  I suppose the question is,
 further, to what extent the security issues have an impact on the user.
 If some hardware that has DMA to the main RAM has a security problem in
 its firmware, that may have severe consequences for the user.

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