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AMD and Intel Chips: NSA Inside?

Posted on August 2, 2013 12:25 PM by J.D. Kane
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The Australian Financial Review ran a speculative yet hugely compelling story a couple of days ago, claiming that a couple of leading Silicon Valley experts believe the NSA (US’ National Security Agency) may have a hardware-level backdoor engineered into the products sold by two of the biggest semiconductor manufacturers around, AMD and Intel.

According to the AFR, Steve Blank, a highly-respected Silicon Valley expert, says he would “surprised” if the NSA has not embedded “back doors” into chips made and sold by AMD and Intel. Such back doors could give the NSA “the possibility to access and control machines,” says the AFR article.

AMD and  Intel Logo

This comes off the heels of another AFR story stating that Lenovo-manufactured computers have been banned from “secret” and “top secret” networks of the intelligence and defense services of various countries, including Australia, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, and New Zealand because of concerns that they could be easily hacked. Lenovo is a Chinese company.

Another boffin, Jonathan Brossard, supports Blank’s speculative opinion. He reportedly has independently concluded that CPU back doors are “attractive attack vectors.” Brossard is an internationally renowned security research engineer, per the AFR.

For its part, Intel says there is “no basis for these highly speculative claims.”

The AFR has gone into some impressive depth and detail in describing the mechanism behind exploiting these theoretical CPU back doors present in virtually all of the world’s PCs.

Basically, because a processor’s microcode can be modified through official channels – either through Microsoft as a security update, or by a manufacturer-issued patch – it’s fairly easy to gain access to any machine running either an AMD or Intel CPU. As the AFR notes, the NSA has been “exceptionally thorough nailing down every conceivable way to tap into communications.” Quite curiously, AMD and Intel are two of the most notable absences on the list of high-profile tech firms fingered in the highly-publicized PRISM leaks a couple of months ago.

Brossard says, quite chillingly, “If you want to own the entire internet, this is how you do it because most people run Wintel.”


  • Joe Sullivan

    Hey, it’s for our own safety! Now smile for the camera.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Hah! It’s sure getting foolish at this point.

  • JD Kane

    A part of me thinks this is meadow muffins.

    Another part of me has the bejeezus scared out of it in case it’s actually possible and true.

  • Bilal Khan

    What if I disconnect the internet?

    • http://techgage.com/ Jamie Fletcher

      They will have to resort to the dark arts of Quantum Physics’ lesser known sibling, Quasi Fisiks, which is based on the well understood principles of Harp theory – the physical manifestation of string theory.

      Through the precise manipulation of ultraphonic frequencies, data signals can be sent down the powerline to take control of a connected system. By utilising advanced MMO sciences and the peering logistics of matter, this information can be stored in the Quasi-Harp field of a battery too.

      If an energy medium is not connected to the grid at some point, and is charged up through some entropy diffusion method such as solar power, then Wranglers Macrowave theorem is utilised on the ever expanding CO2 barrier. What is often mistaken as ‘global warming’ is in fact a concerted effort of the global socialist dictatorship to manipulate energy from the sun through an atmospheric negative refraction matrix. The resultant energy is then programmed via Macrowave disruption, causing an ionic cascade in photovoltaics, and ultraphonics in physical medium energy transfers such as wind turbines and geothermal collections.

      It’s all quite simple really.

      • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

        How many drugs do you do???

        • http://techgage.com/ Jamie Fletcher

          Not enough, apparently.

      • Bilal Khan

        OMG! And I thought I get crazzy high with smoking the good stuff.. Lol! :D

  • Ugh

    No matter what they do, internet is so huge they can’t control it.

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