[coreboot] coreboot & Absolute "Computrace"

David Potocnik david at middlemachine.com
Thu Nov 22 19:52:24 CET 2018


What is the coreboot view of the Absolute "Computrace" ware?

If it is set to "Enabled" in the stock BIOS of a machine, and has an active
subscription - the options to "Disable" and "Permanently Disable" are not
accessible. Is it possible to remove/defuse this whole thing with a
Coreboot flash?

I am asking as I saw an auction for a number of Thinkpad X230's, noted to
be sold with the Absolute system enabled. Some forum posts suggest the only
way to disable an activated system like this is to contact the Absolute
company, get them to contact the "original owner" of the machine, then, if
they'll able to reach them, disable the ware from their end. Then, your
machine is to be left running online "for some time" (in Windows, but also
Debian is said to be "supported"!), and when the ware phones home next,
will discover its new state, and unlock the BIOS option to "Permanently
Disable" (wipe) it's own code.

I'm very interested if flashing Coreboot would clean this up, as well as
technical details about how the peculiar Absolute thing operates.

Thank you all and kind regards,
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