Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

General Questions, Rumors, Real news & More
Post Reply
Message
Author
RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 21185
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#1 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon May 11, 2020 10:00 am

Bad news for all you guys and girls with a laptop that has Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt flaws affect millions of computers

More Thunderspy
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8433
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#2 Post by dr_st » Mon May 11, 2020 1:48 pm

Feels good delivering "bad news" about Thunderbolt and Intel, doesn't it?

Obviously, you don't even have to bother with reading the content. Because the headlines are built to scare you. They will make you think that any Joe Schmoe with a Thunderbolt pen-drive can just connect, type a few letters, and steal all your data. When really they need to take the bottom cover off, connect a physical flash programmer, and run something on the other computer they brought with them. That's not a trivial attack vector. Oh, and they need the PC to be on.

Not saying that it is a trivial vulnerability, but one that is easily defeated by having a hard drive password and hibernating the laptop when you leave it in a place where you are afraid an attacker might gain physical access.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

shawross
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 550
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:48 am
Location: Perth Aus / Thailand

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#3 Post by shawross » Tue May 12, 2020 9:44 pm

Technology often seems to have these flaws and I would never suggest that they are backdoors constructed purposefully. The internet and data is surely our best friend.

"United States Intelligence Community" has the answer hidden in the middle.
Active --- Love the X series
X301 W 7/Mint | X201 540M L Mint | X220 2520 W7/Mint

Nostalgia
X61 T7500 / T41 T42 T43 / A31

Rogue daily driver - Samsung RV511 15.6 " Screen - W 7

w0qj
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:53 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#4 Post by w0qj » Wed May 13, 2020 1:57 pm

Q: Does anyone knows which recent ThinkPad models support Kernel DMA Protection for Thunderbolt 3, which protects against Direct Memory Access (DMA) attacks? This is supposed to partially protect your computer from some of the vulnerabilities. I'm horrified.

www.pcmag.com/news/thunderbolt-flaw-all ... -5-minutes
http://thunderspy.io

Thunderbolt Flaw Allows Your Data to Be Stolen in 5 Minutes

If your system has a Thunderbolt port it's susceptible to the 'Thunderspy' method of stealing your data, even if it's encrypted and your system is locked.

...In total, [the author] discovered seven vulnerabilities that can break all primary security on Thunderbolt 1, 2, and 3 ports, meaning all Thunderbolt-equipped systems shipped since 2011 are susceptible. Using those seven vulnerabilities, nine "practical exploitation scenarios" have been discovered. If that wasn't bad enough, Ruytenberg claims the vulnerabilities can't be patched out in software and, "impact future standards such as USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4, and will require a silicon redesign."

...the only way to truly protect your system against Thunderspy is to disable the Thunderbolt controller entirely in the UEFI BIOS.
Last edited by w0qj on Wed May 13, 2020 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

w0qj
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:53 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#5 Post by w0qj » Wed May 13, 2020 2:12 pm

RBS's (ie: OP's) URL article link suggests that these computers may not be affected by this Intel/Thunderbolt bug:
www.zdnet.com/article/thunderbolt-flaws ... -wont-help

"Ruytenberg also notes that very few systems sold since 2019 actually support the security feature.
...Lenovo ThinkPad P53 and X1 Carbon 2019 and later, and the Lenovo Yoga C940, if it shipped with Intel's Ice Lake CPU."

- - - - - - - - - -
Note: X1 Carbon 2019 should be X1 Carbon (7th Generation), and is not affected by this Intel/Thunderbolt bug.

*Perhaps* the ThinkPad P73, X1 Extreme (2nd Generation, circa Aug 2019), and P1 (2nd Generation, circa Aug 2019) also are not affected, since these were introduced along with ThinkPad P53?
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 21185
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 19, 2020 1:18 am

Thunderbolt problems CAN be solved apparently, you only need an SPI programmer and an 8-pin SOIC-cable.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8433
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#7 Post by dr_st » Tue May 19, 2020 1:36 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:18 am
Thunderbolt problems CAN be solved apparently, you only need an SPI programmer and an 8-pin SOIC-cable.
How does this relate to the current problem discussed in this topic?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 21185
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 19, 2020 4:15 am

???

w0qj
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:53 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#9 Post by w0qj » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm

Question: Is there any way to force ThinkPad to ask for hard drive password after waking up from "Sleep"?


Sleep: Finally gave "Sleep" and hard drive password a try; regret to report that it does not work well.
ie: resuming from "Sleep" does not require hard drive password, so your local coffee shop hacker with physical ThinkPad access can still use Thunderbolt exploit to gain access to your hard drive data.


Shut_Down: Upon "Shut Down" our ThinkPad, the next reboot requires hard drive password, hence (hopefully) foiling your local coffee shop hacker with physical ThinkPad access.


Hibernation: The hibernation method as described by dr_st also enable hard drive password security the next time ThinkPad wakes up, but unfortunately hibernation forces gigabytes of data writes whenever user instructs ThinkPad to enter hibernation, and if you are use SSD this would not be good.

dr_st wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 1:48 pm
Feels good delivering "bad news" about Thunderbolt and Intel, doesn't it?

Obviously, you don't even have to bother with reading the content. Because the headlines are built to scare you. They will make you think that any Joe Schmoe with a Thunderbolt pen-drive can just connect, type a few letters, and steal all your data. When really they need to take the bottom cover off, connect a physical flash programmer, and run something on the other computer they brought with them. That's not a trivial attack vector. Oh, and they need the PC to be on.

Not saying that it is a trivial vulnerability, but one that is easily defeated by having a hard drive password and hibernating the laptop when you leave it in a place where you are afraid an attacker might gain physical access.
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8433
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#10 Post by dr_st » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:34 am

w0qj wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
Question: Is there any way to force ThinkPad to ask for hard drive password after waking up from "Sleep"?
No, it goes contrary to how sleep mode was designed to work. Some third party drive encryption tools may be able to do so, but they actually break if your drive is a self-encrypting one (OPAL). Read here, for example:
https://success.trendmicro.com/solution ... ware-encry
w0qj wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
Sleep: Finally gave "Sleep" and hard drive password a try; regret to report that it does not work well.
It was never designed to do it, so I wouldn't say it doesn't "work well".
w0qj wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
ie: resuming from "Sleep" does not require hard drive password, so your local coffee shop hacker with physical ThinkPad access can still use Thunderbolt exploit to gain access to your hard drive data.
If one has a habit of leaving his laptop in standby on his coffee shop table, while going to take a dump in the toilet, that person has bigger problems than Thunderbolt.
w0qj wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
Shut_Down: Upon "Shut Down" our ThinkPad, the next reboot requires hard drive password, hence (hopefully) foiling your local coffee shop hacker with physical ThinkPad access.
Thank you for reporting the obvious.
w0qj wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
Hibernation: The hibernation method as described by dr_st also enable hard drive password security the next time ThinkPad wakes up, but unfortunately hibernation forces gigabytes of data writes whenever user instructs ThinkPad to enter hibernation, and if you are use SSD this would not be good.
Sheesh. Your understanding of SSD technology seems to be stuck in the last decade. Any modern SSD can handle hundreds of terabytes of writes with no issues. Many of them can handle more.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

crashnburn
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1653
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:26 pm
Location: TX, USA & Bombay, India

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#11 Post by crashnburn » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:25 am

Following.

How long till a fix is found?
T61 8892-02U: 14.1"SXGA+/2.2C2D/4G/XP|Adv Mini Dock|30" Gateway XHD3000 WQXGA via Dual-link DVI
X61T 7767-96U: 12.1"SXGA+/1.6C2D/3G/Vista|Ultrabase
W510 4319-2PU: 15.6"FHD/i7-720QM/4G/Win7Pro64 (for dad)
T43 1875-DLU: 14.1"XGA/1.7PM-740/1G/XP (Old)

cadillacmike68
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1047
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Florida

Re: NOT what you want to hear about Thunderbolt

#12 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 pm

Jeez, How much time are you all spending in starbucks???

I'm not partial to it, Wawa is just as good and less expensive, and I spend little time in there, certainly not with a ThinkPad. Even if I went to a sb, I would get my drink and go. Same goes for pendejos, er, um, paneras. I brought a Thinkpad in there twice so far, in total, since they first opened some 15-20 years ago.
600
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “GENERAL ThinkPad News/Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests