Intel Active Management Technology, iAMT for short, is a system for the administration and remote maintenance of PCs. It is based on the Intel vPro platform and consists of its own hardware component, the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME for short). It is installed as a microcontroller in all current chipsets, including Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and Xeon processors.
This microcontroller always runs when the computer has power, since it is supplied with power via the 5-volt supply of the power supply. The PC does not have to be switched on for this. This hardware-based management has the advantage that most features can also be used when the PC is turned off or crashed. There are only a few functions, the PC needs to run for. The computer, which is to be managed via iAMT, can be controlled via cable or WLAN.
What functions does iAMT have?
iAMT can perform various tasks, e.g.
- Turn the PC on or off remotely
- Steer the boot process in a different direction, e.g. to boot from a CD
- Reset the computer
- Change BIOS settings
- Turn power supply on and off
- Redirect keyboard, mouse and display output via the KVM switch
- Get information about errors
- Initiate remote control sessions
What are the disadvantages of iAMT?
Unfortunately, iAMT has enormous security holes. The German Federal Office for Information Security already warned in 2015 about the Intel Active Management Technology. In 2017 it became known that is was possible to take over computers completely. More information can for example be found here.