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Business Hardware Microsoft reveals Pluton, a custom security chip built into Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors

IbizaPocholo

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ibiza

Now, Microsoft thinks it has the answer with its new security chip, which it calls Pluton. The chip, announced today, is the brainchild of a partnership between Microsoft, and chip makers Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm.

Pluton acts as a hardware root-of-trust, which in simple terms protects a device’s hardware from tampering, such as from hardware implants or by hackers exploiting flaws in the device’s low-level firmware. By integrating the chip inside future Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm central processor units, or CPUs, it makes it far more difficult for hackers with physical access to a computer to launch hardware attacks and extract sensitive data, the companies said.

“The Microsoft Pluton design will create a much tighter integration between the hardware and the Windows operating system at the CPU that will reduce the available attack surface,” said David Weston, director of enterprise and operating system security at Microsoft.

Microsoft said Pluton made its first appearance in the Xbox One back in 2013 to make it far more difficult to hack the console or allow gamers to run pirated games. The chip later graduated to Microsoft’s cloud service Azure Sphere, used to secure low-cost Internet of Things devices.

The idea now is to bring that same technology, with some improvements, to new Windows 10 devices.

The chip comes with immediate benefits, like making hardware attacks against Windows devices far more difficult to succeed. But the chip also solves a major security headache by keeping the device’s firmware up-to-date.

Whether or not the Pluton chip can stand the test of time is another matter. Most of the chip vulnerability research has been done by third-party researchers through extensive, and often tedious work. Microsoft’s Weston said the Pluton chip has undergone a security stress-test by its own internal red team and by external vendors. But that could come back to haunt the company if it got something wrong. Case in point: just last month, security researchers found an “unfixable” security flaw in Apple’s T2 security chip — a custom-built chip in most modern Macs that’s analogous to Microsoft’s Pluton — that could open up Macs to the very security threats that the chip is supposed to prevent.

Microsoft declined to say if it planned to offer the Pluton chip designs to other chip makers or if it planned to make the designs open source for anyone to use, but said it plans to share more details in the future, leaving the door open to the possibility.

 

RaZoR No1

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Jun 17, 2015
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No and hackers say it's probably never will be hacked
IMO there is no interest in hacking a Xbox One.
Slow CPU/System and for people who like to code a bit on it, can just activate the Dev Mode.

The XSX on the other hand should be more interesting, as it is more powerful and still close to a PC, depending on what Dev mode gives/supports.
Imagine converting the XSX to a normal PC 😅
 
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ReBurn

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IMO there is no interest in hacking a Xbox One.
Slow CPU/System and for people who like to code a bit on it, can just activate the Dev Mode.

The XSX on the other hand should be more interesting, as it is more powerful and still close to a PC, depending on what Dev mode gives/supports.
Imagine converting the XSX to a normal PC 😅
No I don't think I will
 
Last edited:

Roxkis_ii

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May 24, 2016
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“The Microsoft Pluton design will create a much tighter integration between the hardware and the Windows operating system at the CPU that will reduce the available attack surface,”

Lol, I think Windows is the biggest attack surface. Microsoft has God like marketing teams, that I cannot deny.
 
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fermcr

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Yep, first thought as well. Microsoft keeps doing stuff that makes installing Linux harder and harder.

Fuck them and I don’t trust WSL one bit.

That's a dumb thing to say. Do you want Microsoft to make it easy to install Linux on their Hardware like Pluton or Xbox?... Are you out of your mind?... Don't you have any business sense?
If you want Linux, get a PC and install it.

That's like saying Apple should make it easy to install Android on their Iphones... :messenger_grinning:
 
Aug 25, 2020
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IMO there is no interest in hacking a Xbox One.
Slow CPU/System and for people who like to code a bit on it, can just activate the Dev Mode.

The XSX on the other hand should be more interesting, as it is more powerful and still close to a PC, depending on what Dev mode gives/supports.
Imagine converting the XSX to a normal PC 😅
If converted to a PC, it'll perform slower. No real point other than "Look what I did" .
 

Bitmap Frogs

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Dec 26, 2008
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That's a dumb thing to say. Do you want Microsoft to make it easy to install Linux on their Hardware like Pluton or Xbox?... Are you out of your mind?... Don't you have any business sense?
If you want Linux, get a PC and install it.

That's like saying Apple should make it easy to install Android on their Iphones... :messenger_grinning:

Some choice quotes from the article:

"The idea now is to bring that same technology, with some improvements, to new Windows 10 devices."
"The security chip designed for the future of Windows PCs"
"announcing a new vision for Windows security"
"will bring even more security advancements to future Windows PCs and signals the beginning of a journey with ecosystem and OEM partners."


 

RaZoR No1

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Jun 17, 2015
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If converted to a PC, it'll perform slower. No real point other than "Look what I did" .
For 500€/$ the XSX is still faster than an avarage PC and includes a decent CPU/GPU.
Currently not really possible to buy a PC with them same specs for same or less money. Thanks to its CPU it should allow us better emulation through retroarch, too.
As soon normal windows runs on it, it could play games from Steam etc. So it is not just for showing.

But in the end everything is just theoretical until some devs start doing something with the XSX.
Afaik at the moment we don't even know what resources are available through dev mode for us.
But I read that Retroarch is already running on it
 
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Shubh_C63

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It's gotta be impressive if they were able to convince most CPU players to add their chip (I assume it's a hardware chip). Amd, intel, Qualcomm in one go.
 
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MegaZoneEX

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What does Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm v get out of this? Seems like once again Mircosoft tries to integrate itself into something their to lazy to do themselves. Put your big boy pants on and make your own processor b like Apple. And I'm a PC gamer saying this.
 

Azurro

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Jun 11, 2018
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IMO there is no interest in hacking a Xbox One.
Slow CPU/System and for people who like to code a bit on it, can just activate the Dev Mode.

The XSX on the other hand should be more interesting, as it is more powerful and still close to a PC, depending on what Dev mode gives/supports.
Imagine converting the XSX to a normal PC 😅

But you can already do that, get a RTX2070 Super or a RTX2080 and Gamepass. :)
 
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Mistershine.

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Jan 20, 2018
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What does Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm v get out of this? Seems like once again Mircosoft tries to integrate itself into something their to lazy to do themselves. Put your big boy pants on and make your own processor b like Apple. And I'm a PC gamer saying this.
They get to not have issues like Intel did earlier this year with meltdown and spectre.
 
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Piku_Ringo

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Almost as many as your mum.
 
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ChuckeRearmed

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Some choice quotes from the article:

"The idea now is to bring that same technology, with some improvements, to new Windows 10 devices."
"The security chip designed for the future of Windows PCs"
"announcing a new vision for Windows security"
"will bring even more security advancements to future Windows PCs and signals the beginning of a journey with ecosystem and OEM partners."
I am pretty sure that it won't affect systems without pre-installed Windows system.
 
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Stray Parts

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Jun 8, 2016
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Technology like this will make it easier to ban you from windows just like you can be banned from xbox.

As the west slides ever more towards thought crime and de-platforming offenders the PC is one of the last free platforms.

This technology will change that, allowing you to be banned from microsoft or google services, as it states in the piece windows + pluton will now take control over the UEFI updates (formally bios) so PC's will be made that windows can lock you out from them.

Also the notion that this system provides encryption privacy is laughable, it 100% has a backdoor for the American NSA, MS is one of the US governments largest contractors.

Avoid buying CPU's that use pluton and if you cant switch to linux Mint or Zorin are both windows like.
 
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H

hariseldon

Unconfirmed Member
Technology like this will make it easier to ban you from windows just like you can be banned from xbox.

As the west slides ever more towards thought crime and de-platforming offenders the PC is one of the last free platforms.

This technology will change that, allowing you to be banned from microsoft or google services, as it states in the piece windows + pluton will now take control over the UEFI updates (formally bios) so PC's will be made that windows can lock you out from them.

Also the notion that this system provides encryption privacy is laughable, it 100% has a backdoor for the American NSA, MS is one of the US governments largest contractors.

Avoid buying CPU's that use pluton and if you cant switch to linux Mint or Zorin are both windows like.

This reminds me of something they tried years ago which got a lot of pushback from the tech press. That doesn’t happen anymore sadly. There’s no journalism anymore sadly.
 
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