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Intel Microchip Intercepts Signals, Reads Memory

March 29, 2019 / Kacy Zurkus

At this week's Black Hat Asia 2019 conference, researchers from Positive Technologies revealed findings about an undocumented technology in Intel microchips that allow reading data from the memory of and intercepting the signals from peripherals. On March 28, 2019, Positive Technologies experts Maxim Goryachy and Mark Ermolov spoke in Singapore, discussing the microchips in their session Intel VISA: Through the Rabbit Hole. The PCH microchips (Platform Controller Hub) on modern Intel motherboards reportedly contain a logic signal analyzer called Intel Visualization of Internal Signals Architecture (VISA), which are disabled by default on commercial systems. However, the researchers discovered several different tactics an attacker could use to activate the technology that has access to virtually all the data on a computer. The researchers were able to intercept signals on displays, keyboards, and webcams.