Intel confirms the leak of Alder Lake BIOS source code

Intel confirms the source code leak for UEFI BIOS of Alder Lake CPU

Intel source code leak confirmedCybersecurity researchers are concerned about possible issues stemming from the source code leak

Cybersecurity researchers have many concerns following the confirmation of the leak from the chipmakers themselves. Intel confirmed that proprietary source code related to the Alder Lake CPUs had been leaked.[1] The anonymous third-party released posts with this news on 4chan and GitHub, so the company had to officially confirm that this news was authentic.[2]

The published information contains the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface code for Alder Lake. These are the 12th-generation processors that were originally launched in November 2021. A Twitter user named “freak” posted links to these posts last week. Those posters claimed that the content was the source code for the said firmware. The particular repository on GitHub contained what was described as the BIOS ode from project C970.

According to the official statements, the leak is not related to other data and did not expose any security vulnerabilities. The company is not related to the obfuscation of information as a security measure. But the broader security researcher community is encouraged to report any issues via the bug bounty program.[3]

We do not believe this exposes any new security vulnerabilities as we do not rely on obfuscation of information as a security measure.

The leak of almost 6 GB of files

The particular leak contains 5.97 GB of files, private keys, source code, change logs and compilation tools. The latest timestamps on this data go to 9/30/22. It is believed that this was the day a particular attacker had accessed and copied data from the system.

The leaked code contains numerous references to Lenovo. Those details include code for integrations with Lenovo String Service, Lenovo Secure Suite, and Lenovo Cloud Service. However, the source code was developed by Insyde Software Corp, a UEFI system firmware development company.

It is unclear how the source code was stolen or whether it was leaked by an insider. It is possible that attackers managed to use malware[4] or different cybersecurity attack methods to steal needed data. However, cybersecurity researchers are still concerned about the possible outcomes and issues.

Possible security concerns

Intel states that there is no security risk due to the source code leak, but security experts are not at ease. There are concerns that it might be easier to find vulnerabilities in the code after this leak.[5] Many hardware security researchers want to note that attackers who rely on bug hunting can benefit from these leaks.

Reverse engineering can be easy when certain vulnerabilities get exposed. These findings add up to the high long-term risks to tons of users. This leak also included a KeyManifest private encryption key, a private key used to secure Intel's Boot Guard platform.

There are very few details on this lead, and it is unclear if the leaked private key is used in production. However, if it is, any hacker can modify the boot policy in Intel firmware and bypass hardware security measures. These details are not yet confirmed by Intel, Lenovo, or Insyde, but it is clear that the source code leak can be the start and the reason of more issues.

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Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

Jake Doevan is one of News Editors for He graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College , Communication and Journalism studies.

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