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Canonical pulls Ubuntu 17.10 over UEFI corruption issue

Canonical has pulled downloads for its Ubuntu 17.10 Linux distribution following studies that it could possibly cause a worm within the UEFI firmware of decided on Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba laptops, corrupting the BIOS and disabling the power in addition from USB Drives.

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification introduced a wealth of enhancements to the old-fashioned IBM Basic Input Output System (BIOS) usual, from fortify for high-security boot situations thru to the power to make use of community units for far flung get admission to throughout the UEFI itself. New options, alternatively, convey new insects, and again in 2013 Linux was once blamed for bricking Samsung laptops by means of corrupting knowledge of their UEFIs. While it grew to become out that the flaw may well be brought about from different running programs, it could seem historical past is repeating itself following studies of laptops from Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba failing with UEFI corruption when operating the most recent Ubuntu 17.10 Linux distribution.

Detailed in a worm file on Canonical’s Launchpad platform, the issue is severe: Installing Ubuntu 17.10 on decided on Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba laptops could cause corruption within the UEFI firmware which items itself as an lack of ability to make any adjustments post-corruption. In severe information for programs with no integrated optical power, the corruption additionally disables the power in addition from a USB garage tool.

Tracked all the way down to the Intel Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) kernel module, prevention is easy: Disabling the intel-spi-* kernel motive force circle of relatives prevents the corruption with out every other obvious affect at the device. For those that have already had their UEFI firmwares corrupted, alternatively, there seems to be no simple repair but to be had.

While the flaw was once first of all considered discovered solely on Lenovo laptops – together with however now not restricted to the Lenovo B40, B50, G40, G60, S20, U31, Y50, Yoga ThinkPad, Z50, Z51, and IdeaPad 100 households – customers responding to the worm file have additionally showed the similar or identical issue affecting decided on fashions of Acer and Toshiba laptops. The downside is in style sufficient that Canonical has opted to cover the obtain hyperlink for Ubuntu 17.10, launched again in October, from public view till a repair is to be had – or, as Canonical has it, ‘the obtain of Ubuntu 17.10 is recently discouraged.

Those operating older variations of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, together with present Long Term Support free up 16.04.three, don’t seem to be affected.

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