NO BOOT FOR YOU! Will Windows 8 Kill Live CDs & USBs?

In January 2012, Microsoft confirmed it would require hardware manufacturers to enable Secure Boot on Certified Windows 8 devices, and that x86/64 devices must provide the option to turn it off while ARM based devices must not provide the option to turn it off.

Soon after the feature was announced, it caused widespread fear it would lock-out alternative operating systems. According to Glyn Moody, at ComputerWorld, this “approach seems to be making it hard if not impossible to install GNU/Linux on hardware systems certified for Windows 8”

Microsoft’s recommended implementation of secure boot removes control of the system from the hardware owner, and may prevent other (open source) operating systems from functioning. Does it also mean that bootable removable media (aka rescue disks, liveCDs, liveUSBs) will no longer function either? LiveCDs and LiveUSBs provide an ‘out-of-band’ security and management capability that is as relevant to Secure Boot systems as their predecessors. The practice of scanning an infected device from an independent, external, known clean device are recommended by government cyber security departments around the world. Is SecureBoot in exchange for no more LiveOS a smart tradeoff from a security perspective?

On 11-07-2012, Marty, FixMestick’s co-founder, wrote on this topic on thehackernews. You can read it here: NO BOOT FOR YOU ! Will Windows 8 Kill Live CDs and USBs?


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