bloomberg on supermicro: sky is falling

Matt Harris matt at
Thu Oct 4 19:51:43 UTC 2018

On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 2:26 PM William Herrin <bill at> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 3:07 PM Denys Fedoryshchenko <denys at>
> wrote:
> > It would be better for them(AMZN, SMCI, AAPL)  to prove that these
> > events did not take place - in court.
> "Can't prove a negative."
> > In the opposite case, even if this article is full of inaccuracies,
> > judging by the discussions of security specialists, the scenario
> > indicated in the article is quite possible.
> The Bloomberg article described them as looking like 'signal
> conditioning couplers" on the motherboard. There is no such part on
> server boards but maybe they meant optoisolators or power conditioning
> capacitors. The former is a hard place to tweak the BMC from without a
> high probability of crashing it. The latter doesn't touch the data
> lines at all.

One wonders if, with the quality of BMC's in general being as low as it is,
and their security as bad, if any sort of extraneous hardware is necessary
to facilitate a compromise of a system where any of these BMCs is present.
Keep in mind many of these devices for some time included a "feature" where
telnet'ing to a specific port and typing in a short string would result in
a response containing a cleartext list of usernames and cleartext
passwords.  ;)
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