back to article 'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

Intel has apparently turned up one of the holiest of holy grails in the tech sector, accidentally creating an zero-power-consumption on-chip 3G communications platform as an NSA backdoor. The scoop comes courtesy of tinfoil socialist site Popular Resistance, in this piece written by freelance truther Jim Stone, who has just …

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  1. Don Jefe

    Serious Business

    As I've stated before, contrails are mind control and anti-anxiety chemicals dispersed at high altitude by the Lizard People to prevent Earthlings from engaging in the Galactic Economy.

    Why, oh God, why is El Reg giving this guy any attention? Yes, he's obviously an idiot, but he's also, obviously, an attention seeking idiot. Feeding retarded trolls is dangerous business. Once they've lost their fear of sane people, they only increase their irrational behavior. When you encounter one it should be euthanized as humanely as possible, not fed.

    Unless, this is some sort of Lizard People false flag operation and El Reg is a major disinformation organ working on their behalf...

    Is El Reg staffed by Lizard People operatives?

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Serious Business

      "Why, oh God, why is El Reg giving this guy any attention? Yes, he's obviously an idiot, but he's also, obviously, an attention seeking idiot. Feeding retarded trolls is dangerous business."

      That's ironic coming from someone who just claimed Chemtrails are mind control and anti-anxiety chemicals dispersed at high altitude by Lizard People. Hypocrite much?

      The fact is there is insufficient evidence about Chemtrails either way, but if it IS true then it certainly won't be "Lizard People" will it, that's nuts. More likely IF it is true the Chemtrails are probably the work of the United Nations which has already admitted their goal is to form a new world order and one world government. Those chemical experts the UN sent into Syria, what do they do the rest of the time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Serious Business

        Is the Reg involved in the dispersal of Chemtrails? Is the LOHAN device the uber device to subjugate all mankind?

        How lucky we we all that underground LOHAN Resistance Movement managed to sabotage one of the latest test flights by bursting their ballon early?

        Or, did their scaly hands (claws?) prove their downfall by damaging the latex in their secret bunker?

        SAVE YOURSELVES!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Serious Business

        That's ironic coming from someone who just claimed Chemtrails are mind control and anti-anxiety chemicals dispersed at high altitude by Lizard People. Hypocrite much?

        You may want to pay attention to the giant whooshing sound over your head :)

        1. fLaMePrOoF

          Re: Serious Business

          It's called sarcasm...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Serious Business @AC

          "You may want to pay attention to the giant whooshing sound over your head :)"

          Your comment absolutely made my day! Thank you. Even though you don't know why, it is still fantastically funny!

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Why, oh God, why is El Reg giving this guy any attention?

      My guess is that they were expecting clear and concise explanations as to why he's wrong in the comments. But just flying into a rage and name calling works just as well....

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: Why, oh God, why is El Reg giving this guy any attention?

        Apparently, wake on lan and dual core are new things to the manic individual being reported on.

        So are the basic laws of electronics, where radios require oscillators, an antenna, etc.

        Put the antenna on the chip at usable power levels, inductively interfere with the chip's operations.

        But then, the laws of electronics, which *is* a branch of physics, are all part of the Grand Conspiracy of the Space Aliens.

        Or something.

        1. Jonathan Richards 1
          WTF?

          Antennae

          If the 3G circuitry is going to operate to fulfil the Evil Purposes outlined, it must be self-sufficient, i.e. not rely on any features of whatever motherboard it's plugged into. I don't know how long it is since Jim Stone looked inside a PC, but typically the CPU is covered with a freaking great heatsink, and enclosed in RF shielding that would make it next to impossible to get reliable signals in or out, let alone wake up my hard disk and wire details back to the NSA.

          Generated a lot of indignation hereabouts, though. I checked the calendar to see if April had arrived without warning.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Antennae

            There's nothing but Liberal Sorcery inside a computer. You use all the fancy words you need to make yourself comfortable with bringing the Devil into your home and office; it won't matter. No one hears the screams of the Damned.

            1. ITBloke

              Re: Antennae

              You're nuts. Go see a doctor,or if you don't trust them, go upstairs and ask your Mom to help you.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Antennae

            "typically the CPU is covered with a freaking great heatsink, and enclosed in RF shielding that would make it next to impossible to get reliable signals in or out,"

            I'm not going to argue with the general point you're making, but it looks like you need to be reminded that the CPU is not the only Intel-badged chip on an Intel-centric motheboard.

            Briefly waking up the hard disk isn't difficult (it's controlled from an Intel-supplied chip).

            You're perhaps on safer ground with respect to [not] getting data out of the box without a hard-wired connection.

            But then again if you've seen Fabrice Bellard (FFmpeg, QEMU, PC emulator in JavaScript, etc) turn a VGA adapter into a DVB-T digital television transmitter using nothing but software, you'll realise that lots of things are possible given compute power and (a lot of) intelligence (in M. Bellard's case, not of the CIA kind). And who without a specifically targeted spectrum analyser would ever notice an unexpected DVB-T signal which was just strong enough to get to the innocent looking white van parked half a kilometre away (with a TV aerial on the top)? Not saying it's very likely to happen, just saying it's a lot more plausible than you appear to think.

            http://bellard.org/dvbt/

            TEMPEST. You know it [still] makes sense.

            1. Jonathan Richards 1
              Thumb Up

              Re: Antennae

              Good points, thank you. I concentrated on CPUs, because the article is headlined "... vPro CPUs"

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Antennae

                The article may well have been headlined "vPro CPUs" but a great deal of the vPro-specific stuff is in the support chipset rather than the expensive thing with the big heatsink and blower.

    3. TimNevins

      Re: Serious Business

      The very first post *always* seems to discount any criticism as lizard people or tin foil conspiracists.

      Try watching the following which actually provides scientific evidence.

      What in the World Are They Spraying?

      youtube.com/watch?v=jf0khstYDLA

      1. Nigel 11
        Black Helicopters

        C hemtrails

        Don't know if there's anyone gullible enough to believe this stuff here, but the fundamental weak point in the "chemtrail" conspiracy theories is the crazy idea that any fine particulates sprayed into the atmosphere several miles up actually descend onto ground even vaguely underneath.

        In fact, anywhere (even everywhere) on the planet is not just possible but probable.

        I've had my car (in London) covered in red dust courtesy of sandstorms in the Sahara. Darwin recorded the same on a boat off the coast of Brazil (and it's now known, sandstorms in the Sahara are an important source of plant nutrients in the Amazon basin). I've seen and smelled woodsmoke in Minneapolis from a forest fire a thousand miles West. People in the UK can suffer allergic reactions to plants that grow only in the USA. That Icelandic volcano with an impossible name shut down aviation in Europe. Bigger volcanoes in the past have turned sunsets spectacularly orange everywhere on the planet, and have even caused dips in global temperature for the year or three it took for the dust to finally settle. The crew of a space shuttle reported that the Earth's atmosphere was "all milky" in the weeks after Pinatubo (Phillipines) errupted.

        And that's all with ground-level sources of dust!! Targetted Chemtrails - ROFL.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: C hemtrails @Nigel

          You've obviously been effected by the chemicals. Note how you trot out antecdotal evidence refuting the proof hanging over your very head, but so calmly accept the status quo. That means you have been exposed. Possibly more than others since Minneapolis has been a target of government chemical based population management for years. That's why nobody ever leaves the area; they're content just where they are..,

      2. Peter Simpson 1
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Serious Business

        Sorry, I don't have an hour and a half to find out what they're spraying.

        Could you summarize, please?

        (and while you are at it, please explain how spraying stuff at 30000 feet gives you any control at all of where it lands)

        // Hmmm...maybe *that's* why Canadians are so mellow?

      3. Cocoa Jackson

        Re: Serious Business

        TimNevins wrote on Contrails [chemtrails]; "...actually provides scientific evidence ... What in the World Are They Spraying?[see comment]

        Simple balance in critical thinking setting aside biases and the truth on 'chemtrails' is clear. Have you actually researched activity outside of high volume air traffic areas in the US? Global ecosystem geoengineering in a relatively small area of the planet is just not feasible.

        There definitely are despotic scenarios facing our species and they are front a centre.

        Top of the list we have a global economy controlled by Banks. Overseen by the BIS, Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, who set policies for all Central Bank Corporations. The BIS create the monetary agenda for all banks, your bank. Banking has 'Friends with Benefits' ; government, transnational and local corporations as stakeholders in an emerging hegemony. Not 'small to medium business', but vaste corporations. This is in plain view.

        Recommend getting your critical thinking focused on this issue first.

        Why keep an eye on 3G vPro CPU issue? Because it is "Serious Business", literally.

        Clandestine access of our interface via our data pipeline has monetary ramifications for our whole working life. As transnational corporations leverage power and wealth to write laws to suit their profit premise in country after country. Operating out of any court that fits their agenda, prosecuting transnationally those breaking their laws. The US already has highest percentage of the world's prison population, that trend looks like spreading.

        This technology as a tool could be very profitable for the 1% and their 'Friends with Benefits'.

        Then we have the rest relying on the trickle down. Inclusive of wannabes who follow neoliberal right and left in ignorance.

        ________________________________

        http://youtu.be/90UAEtt0ta8

        http://goo.gl/mIQrWE

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious Business

      And the Lizard People have now established their base here:

      http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=380484&y=311014&z=120&sv=weston&st=3&tl=Map+of+Weston-under-Lizard,+Staffordshire+%5BTown%5D&searchp=ids.srf

      1. ChrisG13

        Re: Serious Business

        They have another colony here

        http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=169500&y=11500&z=120&sv=lizard+point&st=3&tl=Map+of+Lizard+Point,+Cornwall+&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

    5. BillG
      Big Brother

      Re: Serious Business

      As I've stated before, contrails are mind control and anti-anxiety chemicals dispersed at high altitude by the Lizard People to prevent Earthlings from engaging in the Galactic Economy.

      No you fool, everyone knows the Lizard People are the pawns of the Trilateral Commission.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Do have a extra CPU

    I don't like to dismiss anything out of hand.

    As discussed a few times on semiaccurate.com, these later Intel chipsets *do* have an ARM CPU on board to do some kind of various functions (i.e. it is in fact a black box that Intel says is for security.) Does it have a 3G radio? I really don't know but to me it seems doubtful.

    It seems like to be addressable these'd have to have an MEID (the replacement for CDMA-style ESNs and GSM-style IMEIs) and someone would have noticed by now some cell co would have a huge number of extra subscribers if these 3G chips existed and were actually active.

    As a thought experiment, suppose it exists. An inactive portion of the chip could be enabled via some malware, but otherwise Wake On Lan type stuff is LAN-only. To have any chance of knowing *which* 3G radio you've turned on you'd need the MAC address. IPV6 had the MAC encoded in part of the IP address (exposing your MAC address as part of the IPV6 address), but Linux uses an IPV6 privacy extension to throw a random value in there instead of MAC, and Windows doesn't put the MAC address there either (since some XP patch, and out of the box in Vista and 7 AFAIK). MAC addresses by original IPV6 design would have been visible to anyone on the IPV6 internet, an actuality fact they aren't (except possibly on Macs...) It'd be very difficult then to determine which device needed to be turned on, with no particular info (over the internet) on even what brand computer you're talking to.

    Also, a right on the CPU (or chipset) on a motherboard, inside a case, with no antenna, is the worst possible RF environment, you'd probably have to be within a block of a cell site to have a chance of it getting service.

    edit: As a practical matter, there are photos (micrographs?) of the chip, and there's an ARM on there but no radio.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      "It seems like to be addressable these'd have to have an MEID (the replacement for CDMA-style ESNs and GSM-style IMEIs) and someone would have noticed by now some cell co would have a huge number of extra subscribers if these 3G chips existed and were actually active."

      Not if the NSA had a secret court order preventing that disclosure of information.

      The heat spreader or the heat-sink could be used as the antennae.

      The next question, which 3G band(s)?

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      Of course Macs display their MAC. How else are people supposed to know you're using one? Besides, it's right there in the name!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do have a extra CPU

        Of course Macs display their MAC. How else are people supposed to know you're using one? Besides, it's right there in the name!

        You're in fine form today, hahaha :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      3G radio - not realistic. Any radio is useless without a stack to drive it. 3G would have been the wrong choice because both the baseband and the upper layers are humongous. Now Bluetooth... (either classic or the low power variety) is a different story.

      Also, why the CPU? Intel ships motherboards and chipsets (thought they are trying to disengage from that now). That would be a much better place to put any remote backdoor functionality. In fact, some of it was there all along - just pick an Intel driver source and read the lights out management section and the treatment of "special" vlan tags (Linux drivers used to disable it at init time).

      1. Cliff

        Re: Do have a extra CPU

        I haven't looked at the chip, wouldn't know what I was looking for if I did, would have to take sometimes word for things... But IF there was any kind of wireless antenna with small amount of processor strapped into it embedded in there, my first thought would be RFID for identification/uniqueness than 3G. I could see that being useful if I had a chip factory, anyway.

        1. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: Do have a extra CPU

          I could see a use for RFID to prevent chip factory employees unofficially exporting a proportion of the manufactured output.

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      "As discussed a few times on semiaccurate.com, these later Intel chipsets *do* have an ARM CPU on board to do some kind of various functions (i.e. it is in fact a black box that Intel says is for security.) Does it have a 3G radio? I really don't know but to me it seems doubtful."

      What an intriguing observation.

      So ARM good enough for their server (IE Expensive) processors but not for your next mobile design?

      Not exactly a case of eating your own dog food is it?

      And has the FCC gotten a lot more relaxed about RFI & unlicensed emitters spaffing out lots of RF energy? I got the impression they can get pretty awkward if stuff that's not designed as a radio transmitter starts acting like one.

    5. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      >I don't like to dismiss anything out of hand.

      I suspect a deal with Microsoft.

      Ballmer has the last laugh as buyers storm MS Stores, buying forklift truckloads of Win 8 DVDs and Surface tablets because the microwave voices told them to.

      It's pretty much the one plan Redmond has that might actually work.

    6. Frederic Bloggs
      Unhappy

      Re: Do have a extra CPU

      Not much point putting it in a cpu here in deepest Sussex. No 3G. Not for miles.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's likely an element of truth to it...

    And watch the commentary from the useful idiots turn from "What crazy nutjobs those people are! Everyone point and laugh at their ridiculous conspiracy theories!" to "Well of course the NSA did that, what else did you expect? Everyone stop talking about it now, it's old news." in the blink of an eye, once something like this is confirmed by a leak...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. oolor

      Re: There's likely an element of truth to it...

      Given what we now know about the NSA's programs, it seems a little far fetched as they seem to have ready access through software channels, hardware is much harder to mess with - although I am not going to go so far as to say it can't or hasn't happened.

      A few months ago even some of my more conspiracy-minded programmer and developer friends thought I was a bit over-estimating the capabilities, now they think the opposite, however, I overlooked the possibility that they subverted human and software systems to the degree they did because I assumed they had much better methods of getting and decoding the data in the first place.

      In reality, they seem to have done a good job of targeting data - specifically the metadata - to be the first filter and then only get the other info later if effort requires. Note, that I am simply considering the task of sorting and filtering data, I make no apologies for the questionable (il)legal tactics, reprehensible political and employee complicancy, and public naivety (this commentard's included).

      The reason I think it is unlikely beyond the electronics challenges is that there is no need for that large a data stream for general surveillance, it would just be more noise rather than easily actionable data (which is also my thought with respect to most of the current surveillance as well as much of corporate and marketing data mining).

  4. frank ly
    Black Helicopters

    From the linked article

    "Frank from across the street is an alternative operating systems hobbyist ...."

    Jim Stone has been spying on me! How do I disable the phantom power supply?

    1. pierce

      Re: From the linked article

      cut the blue wire.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: From the linked article

        "cut the blue wire."

        Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Cut the red wire first, or you'll set off the bomb!

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: From the linked article

          "Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Cut the red wire first, or you'll set off the bomb!"

          Um... they're all yellow.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: From the linked article

            Yellow is always the airbag circuit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From the linked article

        I respectfully disagree with you, sir, it's definitely NOT the blue wire. Last time I cut it, but nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing happened. So I cut the red wire and still nothing. To cut the story short, I cut the white wire, and boy, did my wife get angry at me then, cause, like, she'd been charging her i-thingy, and it bleeped and died when I cut that white wire.

      3. Frank Rysanek

        Re: Cut the blue wire

        Actually the purple wire, for +5V standby power from an ATX PSU. Or just pull the mains cord (found outside the case).

        In a laptop, remove the battery.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: From the linked article

      How do I disable the phantom power supply?

      Ghostbusters?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who pays the bill?

    Who pays the bill?

    No, not the $10 Pay-as-you-go bill. That tiny amount of money could easily be hidden in the government books.

    No, I mean the $476,876,456.13 roaming data bill when a Canadian-pwned Canadian-Telco-registered PC gets moved to the USA for a couple of days and has to pass a few kilobytes back to CSE. How would the government spies hide that amount of dosh?

    Oh, I see... They'd just list it under: "F35 Fighter, Qty 1"

  6. Mother Hubbard

    Not so far to fetch

    Intel’s Sandy Bridge will debut at CES

    Published: December 14th, 2010

    http://www.computerdealernews.com/news/intels-sandy-bridge-will-debut-at-ces/18660

    [...]

    With Intel anti-theft technology built into Sandy Bridge, Allen said users can set it up so that if their laptop gets lost or stolen, it can be shut down remotely. The microprocessor also comes with enhanced recovery and patching capabilities.

    [...]

  7. Roger Stenning
    Facepalm

    *epic facepalm*

    These are also the people who want to legalise pretty much every narcotic on the planet. This is a prime example of why they shouldn't be in charge of anything more complex than a wooden spoon.

    That is all.

    1. Schultz
      WTF?

      "These are also the people who want to legalise pretty much every narcotic"

      Sounds quite sane when compared today's policy of random criminalization, or to last century's prohibition of alcoholic beverages in some countries.

      Some wars will never be won. And the war on narcotics -- fought against well-organized freedom fighters also known as ordinary citizens -- seems to be one of them. Not even the illegal activities of the NSA seem to have made any difference in that respect.

    2. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: *epic facepalm*

      Why should be narcotics legalized when we already have alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *epic facepalm*

      These are also the people who want to legalise pretty much every narcotic on the planet.

      Yes, because prohibiting it drives up the price to a point where it is profitable to get people addicted. That's also why legalisation will never happen - too many snouts in troughs on a global scale.

      For a history lesson, look up "prohibition". I'm not *for* drugs (never touched them, never will), but the economics are not exactly rocket science. The only reason the Dutch policy doesn't fully work is because of drugs tourism, the trade to "inland" users has pretty much collapsed to a point where the problem can be controlled.

      1. Tufty Squirrel

        Re: *epic facepalm*

        Exactly.

        We (the western world, and probably much of the rest) have a huge problem with illegal drugs. We don't even know the full scale of it, because, as an illegal situation, it's almost entirely underground. The only bits we see are the health and criminality repercussions, which are a secondary problem, not the primary one.

        How would legalising help?

        The supply chain would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Primary suppliers (the cocaine farmers in South America, for example) would be paid a fair price, improving their way of life. A significant load would be taken off the hands of customs and excise. Drug mules would no longer be risking their lives.

        Quality control would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Rather than having drugs cut with whatever shit comes to hand, users would be guaranteed pharmacological grade drugs. Result - less overdoses, less secondary health effects, a huge weight taken off the health service.

        Distribution would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Result - tax income, and a concrete idea of how big the problem is. An ability to contact and help those who are dependent, without having to "overlook" the criminal aspect of what they are doing.

        FWIW, my grandfather came home from the first world war with half a leg less than he went with, and a lifelong diamorphine addiction that he didn't have when he went. After coming back, he held down a responsible job until retirement, despite twice-daily doses, and finally passed away aged 92. The difference between his addiction and that of the average street junkie was that his heroin came direct from the NHS.

        Legalising is the first step to solving the problem. Criminalising is a total abandonment of duty.

        So, yeah, this lot might be a bit nutty in some respects, but they're bang on the money as far as drugs go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *epic facepalm*

          Rather than having drugs cut with whatever shit comes to hand, users would be guaranteed pharmacological grade drugs

          Umm, small caveat, that in itself isn't an guarantee, though, but it involves at least tests that have to be faked :)

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

    No evidence is offered for the assertions detailed above.

    And with that, El Reg will now happily open the floor to the commentards … ®

    Ok, I'll bite that bullet/billet and swallow the bait and start by asking a simple enough question of the likes of such an NSA/Spooky Intelligence Services facility ........ "What is it that their programs would really be looking for and wanting to do so easily remotely/virtually/invisibly/unstoppably" ..... because, although quite understandably will most everybody likely never ever know unless having a need for a seed and a feed which needs to know, there are probably those who can provide all that be needed so easily, with the really smart ones supplying everything that works together in unison and harmony with no dumb and dumber dumbed down and stupid and catastrophically destructive and unnecessarily disruptive conflicts causing problems in programs rather than delivering profitable and pleasant opportunities to explore and expand upon and expend energy upon and watch grow into something altogether quite different and unique.

    Or is that too alien a simple programming for Mankind presently to engage with ....... for there be those who would like to know rather than waste any of your time in space asking questions of dumb and dumber dumbed down stupid folk.

    *For the Rapture of Singularities which Capture All ..... and Deliver Bounty and Fate, Just Desserts and Passing Destiny via Alternate Reciprocate Means and/or with AIMemes in Greater IntelAIgent Games Play.

    1. localzuk

      Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

      I've read your post multiple times now, and have no idea what you're saying. Can you translate into English?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

      Was this post originally written in a language other than English and then put through Google Translate?

      Or is it just some artyfarty pseudo intellectual junk written by a bored 16 year old?

      Because I haven't the foggiest idea what you are saying.

      Cheers... Ishy

    3. http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

      Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

      Whatever he's on, please could I have some?

    4. NomNomNom

      Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

      "probably those who can provide all that be needed so easily, with the really smart ones supplying everything that works together in unison and harmony with no dumb and dumber dumbed down and stupid and catastrophically destructive and unnecessarily disruptive conflicts causing problems in programs rather than delivering profitable and pleasant opportunities to explore"

      This misses the point, namely what could you do in the same situation that would avoid disruptive conflicts It's all too easy to assume that just because they are working together in unison that they would be necessarily placed, but in reality the situation often turns out to be quite different no? Check opened arrays for example.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

        Relax. It's AManfronMars 1. He/She/It is a Register regular, and very few of their comments make huge amounts of sense (although they just might!). Click on their name in the comment, and have a read.

        Just don't try to understand it too much!

        I really expect more from commentards who have been around here for a while!

        I think the most common theory around here is that it is written in English, then translated into at least one, and possibly more than one other languages before being translated back into English.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

          Each sentence is written in a different European language using GCSE level skills. Each sentence is then translated in to Mandarin, the whole thing is then translated to Esperanto and then back in to English.

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: GCHQ Turing Test to Pass for UniVirtual Machine Command to Control Global Operating Devices*

            Each sentence is written in a different European language using GCSE level skills. Each sentence is then translated in to Mandarin, the whole thing is then translated to Esperanto and then back in to English.

            There is actually some fruit involved as well..

        2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Relax, .... Advanced IntelAIgent Media Channels and Funnels/VPNChunnels know what IT is doing

          Here's a spooky list of safe havens for any who be sharing strange steganographic information that no one had a former clue about, and which might profess and confess to phorm intelligence rather than waste time and effort and resources and credibility phishing for it with IT ....... https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk

          Ready, willing and smarter enabled and able assets there quite normally tend to be from, and at the upper scales of available global intelligence, and up for a challenge which delivers home unrivalled advantage, and practically all there will speak some kind of a language which be as gibberish to the common and/or more common and most common of English speakers.

          The secret to a great present life in the future is to accept, whether it be true fact or not and an impossible fiction, that everything can be known by everyone, and being able to deal with that situation wherever and whatever one be, is that which delivers one anonymously, an unrivalled invisible omnipotent omniscient advantage ...... which be ever so useful and exciting.

          Or do y'all not think very well, and expect mostly that things stay very much the same as they have always just recently been. Methinks that is illogical in any system which possesses and uses intelligence and hunts for information.

  9. Fihart

    Have you tried turning it off,,,,,,,,,,

    If little green men can access a computer even when it's turned off, perhaps it hasn't actually been turned off.

    Explosive experiences with Chinese made PC PSUs has taught me to turn off at the wall.

  10. korikisulda

    What I really don't understand is why they'd even want to do this with 3G when there's most of the time perfectly good networking capabilities to hand...

    1. Ashton Black

      To use the network/internet, it must have an route-able IP address. Most home/small business networks, set this by DHCP for devices. In other words, it would "show up" pretty quickly and any tech worth his salt would investigate... 3G however, is much more "black box" until it gets to the carrier.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Except 3G is STILL wireless, and the 3G tech is pretty well known. Radio transmissions should be pretty easy to pick up, and once you know enough about what is happening, you can probably conduct Faraday cage experiments to support your findings.

        Besides, the 3G part of vPro is hardly secret, as it's being advertised as an anti-theft/remote-brick device.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

          Detecting mobile transmissions

          The original GSM TDMA signal was very easy to detect. Just place any cheap clock-radio near the mobile device in question and you'd hear the transmitted signals via the clock-radio speaker: "Dah-da, dah-da, dah-da, dah-da...." and then your mobile would start to ring. It was easy to answer on the first ring, since you had about two seconds advanced notice via the clock-radio.

          The same GSM "dah-da..." noise is a regular feature of BBC WS news interviews from Africa; when the signal from the old GSM mobile in someone's pocket starts to get into the reporter's, sorry - correspondent's, audio recorder.

          The 3G signal is much stealthier. I've never actually heard it. Too broadband I suspect.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        @Ashton Black

        Who said anything about IP? It's not the only network layer protocol around, although I admit it is the most common.

        They may have a non-IP network that gets locally picked up via some innocuous device (hacked mobile phone maybe) and gated onto an IP network, or they might just have invented a non-IP peer-to-peer supernet mesh completely separate from The Internet.

        Use some imagination, please!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Phantom Power

    Will that be the original US power unit, or the Rolls Royce replacement??

    Its early and some might not get the joke, so........

    1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
      Coat

      Re: Phantom Power

      The original one. Everybody knows the Rolls Royce one was an unreliable disaster ;)

      1. Tom 260

        Re: Phantom Power

        It was more an issue that for the 20% extra power generated by the RR Spey engine, the extra weight pretty much negated it. However, there is a fun story from when a FAA bird visited a US aircraft carrier, and melted the deck behind it when taking off, because that was only designed to resist the heat of US Phantoms.

        1. Steve Graham

          Re: Phantom Power

          As a US-trained pilot, I read "FAA" as "Federal Aviation Authority", making the scenario even more inexplicable.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Phantom Power

            @Steve Graham : I'm neither a pilot. nor an American, but I thought that's what FAA stands for. Is there another meaning?

            1. Tom 260

              Re: Phantom Power

              FAA - Fleet Air Arm

        2. Don Jefe
          Meh

          Re: Phantom Power

          The deck didn't melt, it warped :) The whole fiasco was an engineering failure all the way around. Part of the (legitimate) reason military equipment is so expensive is that it is traditionally massively overbuilt. There's been a shift since the early 1970's to minimize over building to control pricing. This has resulted in products that actually cost more due, partially, to the advanced engineering involved but results in inferior products because advanced engineering assumes people won't do things with it far outside the design specs.

          Basically, it is 'the users fault'. Just like developers can always make their code work fine, but fails when untrained or genuinely stupid people get hold of it. The shift toward finite use engineering in military equipment has been, overall, a big, expensive and dangerous mistake. When you're building something that is supposed to be shot at and bombed and the users aren't going to be thinking about Pg. 87 of the training manual, overbuilding is a safer and cheaper option.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Meh

    Implausible.

    "http://www.computerdealernews.com/news/intels-sandy-bridge-will-debut-at-ces/18660

    [...]

    With Intel anti-theft technology built into Sandy Bridge, Allen said users can set it up so that if their laptop gets lost or stolen, it can be shut down remotely. The microprocessor also comes with enhanced recovery and patching capabilities."

    What? Anywhere on the the planet? I don't think so. Chip serial number yes. Individual IP6 address (which I think is what you need for this level of addressing) No.

    So if this fantasy is true you're looking at 3G radio core + software +SIM card build into the processor.

    Any idea how big a chunk of chip real estate that will take?

    OTOH Could Intel (or any US chip maker) have installed additional "undocumented" functionality into their hardware under pressure from entities within the US govt?

    Yes. And as we now know would have to lie about it if brought into a court of law*

    *Does anyone appreciate how big a mockery of the rule of law the (extended) powers of FISA make of the chance of a fair trial in the US?

    1. Mother Hubbard

      Re: Implausible, except for the demo

      2nd Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ Processor, Intel® Anti-Theft Technology 3.0

      Uploaded on Mar 7, 2011 channelintel

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBAo1vkFFGE

      Intel demonstrates Intel® Anti-Theft Technology 3.0 on the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor. Learn more at http://newsroom.intel.com/docs/DOC-1903.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: Implausible, except for the demo

        "Intel demonstrates Intel® Anti-Theft Technology 3.0 on the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor. Learn more at http://newsroom.intel.com/docs/DOC-1903."

        On a laptop with a GSM card fitted.

        Did you not understand this is about servers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Implausible, except for the demo

          "Did you not understand this is about servers?"

          vPro is vPro (says Intel, and I believe them in this particular instance), whether it's in a laptop or a server or a desktop. Networked remote access, whether or not the main OS is running, so long as there is standby power available to power up a connected NIC and the "management processor". Some server vendors have been providing this capability for years with "lights out" management cards and the like. Intel finally got around to building it into the chipset. Apparently it even works sometimes.

          The GSM card is an added luxury, but is not essential if other connectivity is available.

        2. Mother Hubbard

          Re: Implausible, except for the demo

          > Did you not understand this is about servers?

          Can you find where "server" appears in the article?

          The article is about vPro and Sandy Bridge, and the features questioned in the article ("No evidence is offered for the assertions detailed above") were features Intel - via Intel's director of distribution sales, North America, David Allen - advocated/promoted for vPro in Sandy Bridge as "market opportunities" in 2010 (so you can also ignore Popular Resistance forming in 2011): http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/09/23/intel_stuns_world_with_wakeon3g/#c_1965254

          Q.E.D.

    2. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: Implausible.

      "Does anyone appreciate how big a mockery of the rule of law the (extended) powers of FISA make of the chance of a fair trial in the US?"

      Why wouldn't one expect a fair trial? They've got loads of evidence. They just can't tell you what it is or where they got it. National Security; you understand...

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Implausible, which is never impossible and therefore always very likely and most probable

      OTOH Could Intel (or any US chip maker) have installed additional "undocumented" functionality into their hardware under pressure from entities within the US govt? …. Implausible. …. John Smith 19 Posted Monday 23rd September 2013 07:17 GMT

      But yes, of course they have, and easily can and always do, and certainly most probably well before any entities in governments think to pressurise them with hardware/for trapping hardware with wired and wireless anonymous accesses ….. Right Royal and Ancient Commissions with Universal Permissions.

      Here be a quite recent master thesis on just such a situation and reality …… Security Evaluation of Intel's Active Management Technology ….. which contained the following less than wholesome wholesale observation in a footnote [on page 21 of 92] ……

      Rootkit is a form of system modification software, defined as an application that fraudulently gains or maintains administrator level access that may also execute in a manner that prevents detection. It can be used for eavesdropping network traffic, capturing user keystrokes, alternating log files and modifying standard OS system tools to circumvent detection. Rootkit’s operations are hidden on the system by manipulating OS commands that execute arbitrary code and by crafting the results returned by these commands chosen by the attacker.

      Subsequent years in fields of its and IT research and development have increased understanding and facility, abilities and utilities to embrace and exploit engagements with the following finer, more highly tuned versioning of master operations as exposed in the email text below …….

      Begin forwarded message:

      From: XXXX

      Subject: Master Keys that Enable Universal SMARTR Bus ProgramMING …… Mined Intelligence Network Games …. and, whenever better than just extremely good in ITs Fields of Influence, Mind Infiltration Networking Games

      Date: YYYY

      To: ververis at kth.se

      Rootkit is a form of system modification software, defined as an application that fraudulently gains or maintains administrator level access that may also execute in a manner that prevents detection[18]. It can be used for eavesdropping network traffic, capturing user keystrokes, alternating log files and modifying standard OS system tools to circumvent detection. Rootkit’s operations are hidden on the system by manipulating OS commands that execute arbitrary code and by crafting the results returned by these commands chosen by the attacker.

      Hi, Vassilios Ververis, and thanks for the positive reinforcing confirmation of the truths that you have shared in your fine abstract/master thesis. ….. Security Evaluation of Intel’s Active Management Technology …. which be proving Active Intel Management Technology is not at all secure in any shape or phorm, for any phish or program or pogrom …… and its AIM can be easily groomed/converted/subverted/perverted to perform and deliver Anonymous Invisible Multi-Party Tasks.*

      Please be advised that not all applications with rootkits are fraudulent and some have intelligent designs which freely permit and sustain frequent administrator level accesses specifically for advantageous instantaneous flash crash gain that execute in any number of manners/a series of manners that prevents detection and aids and abets future discovery and recoveries of intelligence and secret secured information

      * Bolder Digitised SMARTR Missions/Alien IntelAIgent Requests/NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Quests/Novel Noble Nobel Turing Adventures.

      Regards,

      XXXX :-)

      :-) Poe's Law Rules?!. :-)

  13. localzuk

    Like all good conspiracies

    It is grounded in fact. The vPro chips do indeed have a secondary processor to allow remote control - that's the whole point of them. The idea that there is a 3G device built in too is somewhat silly though, as a) signal propagation would be appalling within a PC case and b) what network would the be connecting to?

    Not all Core chips are vPro, as vPro is aimed only at business (home users don't need to remote control the BIOS of their machines, for example). As the vast majority of PCs that business buy are connected to some form of network, the need for a way to get data via a 3g device is negated - you can just get the machine to send you stuff when its connected to the network!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Like all good conspiracies

      "what network would the be connecting to?"

      Probably a whispernet. Black-and-white Kindles employ this technique. As for signal propagation, any bets one of the pins goes to an antenna that's mounted within the motherbard as a requirement or the like?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank fuck for that! All that time I've spent worrying about sounding like a CT nutter with some of my comments on the NSA/GCHQ revelations. I should have known the CT nutters wouldn't allow themselves to be outdone by reality, and have moved their views even further out into the realms of fantasy.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      This story may well be a snooping program - to filter out engineers hiding among El Reg commentariat. And does seem to do a good job.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Billion $ Question

        This story may well be a snooping program - to filter out engineers hiding among El Reg commentariat. And does seem to do a good job. .... Solmyr ibn Wali Barad Posted Monday 23rd September 2013 20:04 GMT

        Engineers, Solmyr ibn Wali Barad?

        Ok ..... what sort/type of engineering expertise is being sought/hunted?

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: Billion $ Question

          "Ok ..... what sort/type of engineering expertise is being sought/hunted?"

          Sadly, I have no knowledge of the program, if there is any.

          It was only an observation - that quite a few fellow commentards have advanced knowledge of high frequency transmissions, and were willing to disclose their skills under a seemingly silly story. One cannot help but wonder. Perhaps it was a ploy, a honeypot, to achieve such a disclosure.

          Or perhaps it's a diversion - one of the conspiracy theories fed to the public, in order to draw attention away from the true masterplan. Whatever that might be.

  15. Timmay

    Quietly access components

    I'd love to know how this tech is able to "quietly turn on and access" a spinny hard drive without anyone noticing. Oh god no, maybe they have a hand in hard drive design now too!

    1. Lottie

      Re: Quietly access components

      Maybe it's the RIAA and the like that are going to use it. Lots of PCs have USB that charges your media device even when the PC is off these days.

      Lars Ulrich is there, searching every computer and checking the directories of every connected iPod....

      (No, I'm not being serious.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quietly access components

      "I'd love to know how this tech is able to "quietly turn on and access" a spinny hard drive without anyone noticing. "

      I have a vPro desktop at home. if it has been disconnected from the mains, when you later plug it back into the mains, the unit switches on for a fraction of a second, while the management processor wakes up. Then it goes back to sleep. I think it spins up (and quickly shuts down) the hard drive at that point.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Quietly access components

        "I have a vPro desktop at home. if it has been disconnected from the mains, when you later plug it back into the mains, the unit switches on for a fraction of a second, while the management processor wakes up"

        Even the old DQ35JO/MP desktop boards did that. It was checking the BIOS config setting to see what it should do after a power failure leading to fans and HDDs spinning up. More modern boards will do that without powering up the entire system

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Quietly access components

      ""quietly turn on and access" a spinny hard drive without anyone noticing"

      It spins up to 33 1/3rd rpm and reads the data very sloooooowly.

  16. Chad H.

    Gee if I was going to put a 3G radio into a chip, I'd tell the world about it, let both you and the NSA pay for it, and this hide the backdoor in plain sight - you might even help the NSA some by repositioning for better signal.

    I might even get safety laws passed to mandate their use and make aeroplane mode illegal...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they watch Dragon Day

    This seems to be taken straight from the Dragon Day movie!

    http://www.dragondaymovie.com/

  18. Matt_payne666

    so this group has just stumbled upon remote management!! yeh gads!! and im not sure if my sarcasm detector has kicked in yet this morning, but it appears some commenters are almost half considering the feasibility of the ravings!!

    VPro and remote management has been floating about for years... and yes, you can rouse a machine if its connected to a network and off... but its not quite as easy as waving a magic mouse pointer and saying lets turn on Matts laptop... there is a low power management chip, it doesn't run on phantom power - it runs on the power supplied to the machine while on the mains... there no embedded 3g - the tech would be far to bulky to add to the chip, plus someone would have to pay the bills - VPro is designed for sysadmins to remotely manage machines in a pre-bios environment - its not a secret - its a poplular tool... requiring quite some setting up and access to the network the device is on...

    then... there is always the option to turn the thing off, assign a loopback IP address to the management interface, or switch off from the mains....

  19. Velv Silver badge

    The strange thing about radio waves is that they are detectable.

    It's a well documented fact that Russian spies around the world knew they were being followed not by breaking the encrypted transmissions but simple by observing that transmissions were taking place.

    If these chips have the capability then it isn't switched on, or the airwaves would be full of interference.

    And it they really have created a "zero-power-consumption" chip then they've broken the laws of physics, and I doubt Intel would be selling normal chips with hidden processors if they could make powerless chips for everyone.

    1. Don Jefe

      Research

      That's just it: If they had crossed several technological and physics thresholds the work leading to those advancements wouldn't have been done inside Intel and wouldn't be squirreled away.

      Even if the actual chips contained this technology the science underlying it would have been the end result of many, many research scientists and long term projects around the globe. It would be impossible to prevent those scientists, their sponsors or their institutions from publishing their research.

      There are simply too many people outside US control that would have to be involved/hushed up for this to be a viable conspiracy. Besides, Intel and other silicon manufacturers run on and build on science; they don't do the foundation level science necessary for this to happen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...observing that transmissions were taking place."

      Spread spectrum transmissions can be *below* the noise floor. E.g. GPS.

      What's really mind-bending are radar systems, even burdened with the physics of two-way R^4 (!) pathloss, can be made essentially undetectable (even in the first direction).

  20. swissPGOE

    if it is G3.. then all network operators in the world would notice it

    To be abble to receive any data via remote access, the supposedly existing device needs to access the G3 network and identify itself - that access as all data traffic needs to be billed to someone...

    Those devices will also show up in network statistics

    The device also needs a decent unshielded antenna...

    And at least every 4 hours, the device needs to communicate with the network to indicate it's location has not changed (or more often whenever it does change location ). All this requires power.

    So this all seems to be unlikely to happen soon without anybody noticing

  21. bpfh Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Why not use 3G?

    Why not use 3G, it has greater range than bluetooth and implemented as a semi-independant watchdog circuit, you could do some funky things. If I was to set up somthing like this, I would equip a white van with a nano- or femtocell, that broadcast a specific network ID , call it "bigbrother" (or V0DAPHONE, ot somthing actually inconspicuous). The embedded chip does not need to broadcast, just listen every hour or somthing, and when it does pick up this network, then wake up and handshake with it... and then let the network operator access a control panel for each "terminal" that connects, ID the one they want, download at 3G speed anything on the laptop, transfer files, inject transmitted malware directly into the CPU... but otherwise just lies dormant. Dead but dreaming... until Big Brother rolls up in your neighborhood looking for someone or somthing.

    The thing is, it should be a doddle to actually x-ray a chip and see if it really does have somthing that looks like a 3G circuit on board, and power analysis can also be used to see if the CPU is actually doing somthing it should not... More likely that this is actually FUD spread by AMD to get people to by their procs rather than "tainted" Intels ;)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barmy - a lot of it about.

    Reviews of any iPhone often carry a similar fingerprint too so this is just as valid, is it not?

  23. Jerky Jerk face

    Apparently connectivity means hardwired now.

    Yes it can wake it self up using 3g IF its all online and connected too, no its not got 3g inside the chip - that would be impossible for a number of reason including - "dont be fuckin' retarded"

  24. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Anti-capitalist?

    Clearly, MinLove/MinEcon CPUs as required in every worker's home set will NOT HAVE any security problems.

    What's that? Not ok with that?

    You are being vanned!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does vPro actually work as advertised, ever?

    Good to see a couple of folks have spotted that the description of vPro functionality is actually at least as accurate as many IT articles (remote access, subject to authentication, any time the PC is mains powered, even if nominally "off"). Shame the general audience took so long to spot this, but hey, that's what commentards are like, innit..

    I have two vPro boxes at home (an hpq 6910 laptop, and an hpq 7700 desktop, yes they're antiques)

    I have spent a significant amount of time trying to make vPro remote management work as advertised on the 7700. As, according to fora, have various other folks. vPro remote management doesn't want to talk to me. The built in NIC didn't initially want to talk at all under XP (though it was fine under SuSe). I finally found a combination of firmware and drivers where it would work at 100Mb under XP but it still refuses to play for more than a couple of seconds at 1Gb before dropping back to 100Mbit. So I'm currently using a $3 Gbit card instead.

    Based on this track record, I didn't even try to make it work on the laptop so far.

    Suggestions for HOWTOs etc most welcome.

  26. jonfr

    Signal path

    They would have terrible problem with the signal and signal path. Since many areas have poor 3G signal and sometimes none at all.

    As for his claims, I think he needs to have come checks done by the lizard people.

  27. MatsSvensson

    I have heard it continues to work, even after you have lowered it into a vat of molten steel.

  28. Alistair Silver badge
    Alert

    been reading these commentary for too long.

    Dunno why everyone has a problem with AMfM1's posts. They appear to be making more and more sense the longer I read this site.

    Either that or the caffeine overload line on my TfH is getting lower and lower.

    That said;

    I can see some insane compromised tech somewhere telling a spook "Yeah, .... yeah ... Look! we can do THIS !!!!!" and selling it on to the collective management. But then I've seen what passes for a CMDB these days.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: been reading these commentary for too long.

      I am reminded of Colonel Jessop's classic line, Alistair .... "They/You can't handle the truth"

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