Researcher Brandan Wilson found the company’s data hosted on an unnamed vendor’s FTP server. Among the vendor’s internal emails, system images, high-resolution PCB images and private Excel spreadsheets was the source code for different versions of AMI firmware, code that was current as of February 2012, along with the private signing key for the Ivy Bridge firmware architecture.
AMI builds the AMIBIOS BIOS firmware based on the UEFI specification for PC and server motherboards built by AMI and other manufacturers. The company started out as a motherboard maker, and also built storage controllers and remote management cards found in many Dell and HP computers.
“The worst case is the creation of a persistent, Trojanized update that would allow remote access to the system at the lowest possible level,” researcher Adam Caudill said. “Another possibility would be the creation of an update that would render the system unbootable, requiring replacement of the mainboard.”"