Intel's Sandy Bridge processors have a remote kill switch

By Emil · 60 replies
Dec 18, 2010
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  1. So question,, Is it only the user who has this control? What about the government? Misuse of this by any agency say RIAA. you download an MP3 or what not so they kill the CPU. they have done worse off before. Also would this not be a perfect trick to shutdown the publics ability to share there voice?
  2. On a standard metal PC case form a faraday cage protecting the chip from external radio signals.
  3. Hmm, getting customers to willingly destroy your product so they can buy a replacement from you?

    I think this idea originated in the marketing department.
  4. This is for military and espionage use. Can you imagine turning off the opposing armies or a competitors computers? Who needs a nuke EMP when you can shut down a country with a 3G signal?

    They already put this stuff in everything they sell to foreign countries. All those missiles and airplanes and everything else have this capability so they cannot be used against US forces.
  5. I would rather have a homing signal sent out on receipt of the text message.
  6. Stupidest idea I have ever heard of. Whats the gain of turning off a computer that has been stolen? This sounds like something the government would be in on.

    If people are afraid of sensitive information ending up in the hands of the wrong person they simply need to encrypt that information before the computer is stolen. Then it will be worthless in the hands of anybody without a password to the encrypted information. Bitlocker which is built-in to Windows 7 Ultimate edition is more than adequate for this task. Or if you want a free option to encrypt all your sensitive information, TrueCrypt is a wonderful alternative.

    The assinine ways people approach some problems are just so puzzling to me. They must have given this idea all of fifteen minutes of deep thought.

    I'll have to research this more but if its true but I may have to pass on any Sandy Bridge processors when considering a CPU upgrade in the future.

    I can't help but think that the government is somehow involved with this CPU. They are hell bent on controlling everything and everybody now days. First healthcare, next the internet, lastly everybodys personal computer.
  7. Saintnsinner

    Saintnsinner TS Rookie Posts: 56   +11

    It also notifies the authorities if your looking at porn on the internet in the UK.
  8. Saintnsinner

    Saintnsinner TS Rookie Posts: 56   +11

    AMD if your reading this we don't want this in your next generation of APUs.
  9. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    While they're looking into disabling just the CPU, why not go all the way with a remotely triggered self-destruct code or even an auto-wipe code for the HDD ?
  10. edison5do

    edison5do TS Rookie Posts: 231

    And then what? will them Stick Mircophones or Micro cameras to a Feakin PC Ship.!! Damm what a waste of money, that makes me think aboyt something hiding inside, some **** that send thme report abour your usage or any other thing.... Worried..
  11. We all known your CPU won't stop a thief from getting your info from your Hard Drive.

    I guess Intel figured a CPU shutdown would be pretty safe while using Trusted Computing (Intel TXT). If your data are sealed with the CPU info, a thief wouldn't be able to access it unless they use the same CPU (which would not be feasible if disabled). Spoofing CPU info is somewhat pretty hard.

    Danny Fullerton
    Mantor Organization
  12. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    But that will bring us to another problem, what if the CPU fails due to hardware issues, such CPU hardware level data protection (if it can be made to work) may result in locking you out of your HDD for good (or atleast may make it lot harder).
  13. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    @ Archean

    Don't people use backup anymore though?. What happened to that "Cloud" thingy?, that didn't sound too bad for small companys and the like.

    It is obvious though, the HDD is the place for stopping data theft. Something viable will come in the future you'de think.
  14. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Cloud is more like a 'pipe dream' for the likes of Google, I've talked to several small/medium size businesses and one large size organization (involved in well over two dozen industries) about it in last year or so, and frankly not one of them believe they can trust any one with their data.

    Beside, just think for a moment, if you put everything in one basket, you make one very BIG target for the rest who want to get their dirty hands on it ....... I am sure there are enough smart people out their who can pull this off, causing a constant headache for everyone involved.
  15. Yeah, that's not how it works. No script, no MAC addresses, no database at Intel.
    Also, laptops aren't built that way. If you kill the chipset, then it will cost more to revive than to replace. These components are typically surface mount, meaning either expensive equipment or über skills to replace. A good laptop that is stolen is worth a couple hundred at most. Practically, the only generic components are RAM, HDD, optical drive, and some wifi cards.
    Yeah, your data is unprotected, but that's your fault for not encrypting, lol.
  16. It's a big step in the right direction. Development still needed.
  17. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Well, judging on the vast majority of comments in this thread, it's more of a big step in the pointless waste of money direction.
  18. What ***** thought up this brilliant idea?
  19. You can't say m o r o n on this stupid site?
  20. Excuse the shameless plug, but I would be foolish not to point out that this technology would be a great compliment to our software that locates, locks down, and protects the sensitive data on Windows/Mac/Linux based notebooks, tablets, and desktop computers as well as smartphones. Check it out here:
  21. who ever believes hey have a 3G radio on board is obviously on crack.
  22. This is all about limiting Free Speech. After all, censorship is everywhere. The gov’t (and their big business cronies) censor free speech, shut down dissent and ban the book “America Deceived II”. Free speech for all.
    Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:
  23. <strong>Fortunately for all of us</strong> AMD is currently leading the pack in bang for the buck, leading the pack in ultimate computing power (the 12 core Opteron), leading the pack with the most powerful web server on the planet (a 48 core opteron) and leading the pack with advanced applications that can actually branch processes and truly compute on independent cores. Even the I7, intel's best, is not a true multi core CPU. It only scores high in benchmarks and with applications that run well on a single core which actually make up the bulk of consumer and even professional software most often seen. Even when an AMD CPU is not properly utilized by software, AMD STILL beats intel performance across the board dollar on dollar because the cpu's they make are SO MUCH more advanced than Intel's that they perform respectably despite being stifled by antiquated apps and code not up to AMD's futuristic standards.<br> <p> The proof is in the pudding folks, it is a fact that the top 3 supercomputers in the world use AMD opteron processors because REAL engineers know what is advanced and what will do the job. Intel is a no show in the supercomputer world, the next two slots below AMD use Nvidia processors. Intel makes toys, that is all. Marketing really is their forte.<br><p> Ok, so perhaps I am a little harsh here, but this whole remote disable thing really fractals my behind; I was happy with my last Intel CPU but this remote disable thing will FOREVER prevent me from buying another Intel processor, even if they say it is not on the chip I bought. For them to even go to this idea intellectually proves they are brain dead and morally bankrupt. Think Y2K was a potential problem? Folks, you have seen NOTHING compared to the threat posed by having a "feature" like this embedded in a large number of computers. I truthfully hope AMD succeeds with its soon to be released (in response to Sandy Bridge) Bulldozer platform; I would laugh if Intel got buried by it.
  24. This 3G technology is an extension to already existing intel V pro technology that allows the PC to communicate over ethernet/internet even when the OS is not active or even loaded. There is background hardware/firmware that allows V pro to communicate over ethernet without the OS being able to know about it. This is how the V pro technology works, 3G is an extension to the technology, so it now can work over ethernet, wifi, 3G etc. All without the user being able to monitor the communication as it is hardware/firmware based. Look it up on wikipedia V pro:
  25. This isn't about computer theft. They have disk encryption to cover that.
    No it's about shoving your nose in it. More control by them of your affairs.
    Hasn't anyone seen the abusive adverts on TV where they say they know who you are, where you are and how they can come get you if you don't conform?

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