How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by please.re.. » Sat, 02 Feb 2002 16:29:43



Hi,

I don't have a PIII or P4 yet, but I was wondering if hackers could read
the famous PIII/P4 serial number in the chip, what can they do with it
anyway?!

Could they use it to (better hack) your PC and/or read info about you
from your PC, etc.. cause that's what I really would like to know?!

I was hoping people with good knowledge about this could clarify this
once and for all! Thanks in advance for all good feedback!

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by re » Sat, 02 Feb 2002 16:46:51



>Hi,

>I don't have a PIII or P4 yet, but I was wondering if hackers could read
>the famous PIII/P4 serial number in the chip, what can they do with it
>anyway?!

>Could they use it to (better hack) your PC and/or read info about you
>from your PC, etc.. cause that's what I really would like to know?!

>I was hoping people with good knowledge about this could clarify this
>once and for all! Thanks in advance for all good feedback!

tracking. it's all about the tracking. if you can profile someone for
their habits by reading, somehow, the serial number, via unknown
means, then someone may have the ability to track you and run a
profile on your habits. this includes legitimate companies doing it
too, not just the criminal element (although i would venture to guess
that obtaining said information without your direct knowledge or
"acknowledgement" will be unlawfull or the very opposite and be
"expected" by the government in the future).

the serial number is yet another means of giving someone the ability
to invade the privacy of unknowing computer users.

--
Colonel Flagg
http://www.internetwarzone.org/

Computer Privacy and Security
http://www.cotse.com

America WILL NOT forget 9-11-01

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by Tamas Fehe » Tue, 05 Feb 2002 21:49:28


Quote:>don't have a PIII or P4 yet, but I was wondering if hackers can read
>famous PIII/P4 serial number in the chip, what can they do with it

Hello boy! You are obviously a mental patient, you have an obsession
with PIII serial number and flood groups with repeated threads
concerning it.

ALL computer BIOS have the ability to disable PIII serial number
feature, just press DEL at bootup and set it to off and rest in peace.

Have Fun!

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by Alun Jon » Tue, 05 Feb 2002 22:53:50




>ALL computer BIOS have the ability to disable PIII serial number
>feature, just press DEL at bootup and set it to off and rest in peace.

And you are certain that the processor can tell the difference between the
BIOS telling the processor not to release the serial number, and an
application at some later stage issuing the opposite instruction?  Noone's
ever explained to me exactly how it is that the BIOS settings affect that, but
that it can't be overridden later by an application (or device driver, or
whatever).

I agree with you that the OP sounds somewhat obsessed over the situation, but
I haven't seen an adequate technical explanation of that yet.  I haven't
exactly gone looking, but it's the sort of information I'd be surprised not to
have heard.

Alun.
~~~~

[Note that answers to questions in newsgroups are not generally
invitations to contact me personally for help in the future.]
--
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How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by s.. » Wed, 06 Feb 2002 00:36:34



Quote:> And you are certain that the processor can tell the difference
> between the BIOS telling the processor not to release the serial
> number, and an application at some later stage issuing the opposite
> instruction?  Noone's ever explained to me exactly how it is that
> the BIOS settings affect that, but that it can't be overridden later
> by an application (or device driver, or whatever).

It's pretty simple really -- there's an instruction that can disable
the serial number, and once that's done there's no way to re-enable it
without doing a hard reset on the processor (or a power cycle, which
is really the same thing).  There is simply no way in software to
enable the serial number once it is disabled.

There is, however, a "hack" that a dishonest bit of software might
try: it could go into your configuration, stored in NVRAM, and set the
serial number back to "enabled".  That wouldn't have an immediate
effect, but the next time the system was booted the serial number
would be enabled (assuming people didn't check that every time the
machine was booted).

Do BIOS configurations have any soft or integrity check on the NVRAM
configuration?  That would at least makek this a little harder...

--
Steve Tate --- srt[At]cs.unt.edu | Gratuitously stolen quote:
Dept. of Computer Sciences       | "The box said 'Requires Windows 95, NT,
University of North Texas        |  or better,' so I installed Linux."
Denton, TX  76201                |

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by those who know me have no need of my nam » Wed, 06 Feb 2002 07:36:41



Quote:>Do BIOS configurations have any soft or integrity check on the NVRAM
>configuration?  That would at least makek this a little harder...

yes, but it is typically a trivial checksums, so such a hack would
change option bit to enable serial# access and write a revised checksum.

--
okay, have a sig then

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by Bill Unr » Wed, 06 Feb 2002 10:02:20




]>ALL computer BIOS have the ability to disable PIII serial number
]>feature, just press DEL at bootup and set it to off and rest in peace.

]And you are certain that the processor can tell the difference between the
]BIOS telling the processor not to release the serial number, and an
]application at some later stage issuing the opposite instruction?  Noone's
]ever explained to me exactly how it is that the BIOS settings affect that, but
]that it can't be overridden later by an application (or device driver, or
]whatever).

The claim I have heard is that there is a a CPU instruction to turn off the serial number, but not one to turn
it on. Ie, the only way to turn it on again is to reset the processor (which means you have to
reboot the system).  Thus, once the bios has turned it off, it is off for the remainder of
that bootup no matter what any program does
(Note that I have not studied the 686 instruction set to verify this.

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by Alun Jon » Thu, 07 Feb 2002 00:56:37




>The claim I have heard is that there is a a CPU instruction to turn off the
> serial number, but not one to turn
>it on. Ie, the only way to turn it on again is to reset the processor (which
> means you have to
>reboot the system).  Thus, once the bios has turned it off, it is off for the
> remainder of
>that bootup no matter what any program does

Thank you - that's more information than I'd been given in the past on this
particular issue.  Knowing how chip builders like to create orthogonal
instruction sets, I assumed that if there was a command to turn the option
off, there would be a similar command to turn it on - and you know what they
say about "assume" :-)

Quote:>(Note that I have not studied the 686 instruction set to verify this.

Obviously, there's always the chance that such a feature is there, but
undocumented, unless you get to go through the design of the chip and ensure
that there is no path other than resetting the chip that could cause it to
enable the sending of the ID.  However, I'd say that's pretty unlikely, and if
such an issue were to be discovered, would be publicised pretty widely.

Alun.
~~~~

[Note that answers to questions in newsgroups are not generally
invitations to contact me personally for help in the future.]
--
Texas Imperial Software   | Try WFTPD, the Windows FTP Server. Find us at

Cedar Park TX 78613-1419  | VISA/MC accepted.  NT-based sites, be sure to
Fax/Voice +1(512)258-9858 | read details of WFTPD Pro for NT.

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by Lucius Chiaravigl » Fri, 15 Feb 2002 13:25:47


[Apologies in advance if this appears more than once -- I have been getting
news server errors.]


>I don't have a PIII or P4 yet, but I was wondering if hackers could read
>the famous PIII/P4 serial number in the chip, what can they do with it
>anyway?!

>Could they use it to (better hack) your PC and/or read info about you
>from your PC, etc.. cause that's what I really would like to know?!

>I was hoping people with good knowledge about this could clarify this
>once and for all! Thanks in advance for all good feedback!

        By itself, the serial number is more of a tool for spammers and their
more socially accepted but not necessarily more ethical counterparts in
businesses that want to ensnare you in their marketing schemes.

        What a cracker COULD do with it would be to figure out a way to
impersonate the serial number of your CPU.  For them to get any use out of
this would depend upon some third party being clueless enough(*) to depend
upon this CPU serial number as being reliable for security purposes other than
asset tracking (and maybe workstation identification on a local area network,
if the firewall and physical security are good enough).

(*)Meaning that this has almost certainly already happened.

 
 
 

How can hackers really benefit from having your PIII/P4 serial number?!

Post by ch.. » Fri, 15 Feb 2002 18:03:26




Quote:>>don't have a PIII or P4 yet, but I was wondering if hackers can read
>>famous PIII/P4 serial number in the chip, what can they do with it

>Hello boy! You are obviously a mental patient, you have an obsession
>with PIII serial number and flood groups with repeated threads
>concerning it.

>ALL computer BIOS have the ability to disable PIII serial number
>feature, just press DEL at bootup and set it to off and rest in peace.

Bullcrap.  I've got several at work that do not have this option in
the bios settings.  Most of them Dell or other OEM that customizes the
BIOS setup to prevent the user from mucking something up.
 
 
 

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