Intel Active Management Technology (AMT)
Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) is a feature of Intel® Core™ processors with Intel® vPro technology and workstation platforms based on select Intel® Xeon® processors. Intel® AMT uses integrated platform capabilities and popular third-party management and security applications, to allow IT or managed service providers to better discover, repair, and help protect their networked computing assets. Intel® AMT also saves time with remote maintenance and wireless manageability for your mobile workforce, and secure drive wiping to simplify PC lifecycle transitions.
See also Wikipedia articles on:
The book Active Platform Management Demystified: Unleaching the power of Intel™ vPro Technology written by Arvind Kumar, Purushottam Goel, and Ylian Saint-Hilaire in 2009.
AMT management tools
MeshCommander is an entirely web based tool for remote management of your Intel® AMT computers.
AMT firmware updates
A number of security holes in AMT firmware have been reported. If you have activated AMT, it is mandatory to install the latest AMT firmware updates from your PC vendor.
A partial list of AMT security holes includes:
CVE-2017-5712 (see INTEL-SA-00086)
CVE-2017-5689 (see INTEL-SA-00075)
CVE-2017-5705 and similar CVE-2017-5706 CVE-2017-5707 CVE-2017-5708 CVE-2017-5709 CVE-2017-5710 CVE-2017-5711
Software tools for AMT security:
Intel-SA-00086-software for vendor firmware updates and tools
Intel-SA-00086 Detection Tool for Linux and Windows
AMT status checker for Linux: https://github.com/mjg59/mei-amt-check
AMT Forensics: Retrieve Intel AMT’s Audit Log from a Linux machine without knowing the admin user’s password: https://github.com/google/amt-forensics
Management Engine BIOS Extension (MEBX)
Intel ME configuration is included in the BIOS by the Intel® Management Engine BIOS Extension (MEBX). The Intel MEBX provides the ability to change and/or collect the system hardware configuration, passes it to the management firmware and provides the Intel ME configuration user interface.
If the PC has AMT hardware, you can enter the MEBX setup just after the POST start-up by pressing:
This option is usually not displayed on the PC boot screen.
When entering the MEBX login screen, the factory default password is admin. You will then be asked to set a new MEBX password.
When creating an MEBX admin password, it is important to note that the BIOS will interpret keystrokes assuming a US keyboard layout.
The documented default password for user admin is also admin. If AMT is enabled, this password must be changed.
Since non-alphanumeric characters are required in MEBX passwords, it is important to take note the actual characters typed into the BIOS, since they may be different when you login to the AMT from a web-browser or other tool! In BIOS setup, a US keyboard layout is assumed.
AMT security links
Talk: Intel AMT: Using & Abusing the Ghost in the Machine by Parth Shukla - email@example.com:
F-Secure security alert:
EFF story: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/05/intels-management-engine-security-hazard-and-users-need-way-disable-it
Wired story: https://www.wired.com/story/intel-management-engine-vulnerabilities-pcs-servers-iot/
Slashdot story: https://yro.slashdot.org/story/18/01/12/201200/researcher-finds-another-security-flaw-in-intel-management-firmware
Arstechnica story: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/researcher-finds-another-security-flaw-in-intel-management-firmware/