Protection against Samsung UEFI bug merged into Linux kernel

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On Thursday morning, Linus Torvalds merged two changes into the main Linux development tree which mean that the samsung-laptop kernel driver will no longer be activated when Linux is booted via UEFI (1, 2). This should resolve the problem of some Samsung laptops being irreparably damaged when Linux is booted using UEFI. The does not, however, mean that the danger is past, as there appear to be other ways in which the sensitive firmware can be disrupted.

According to current understanding, the problem affects at least the following Samsung laptops: NP300E5C, NP530U3C, NP700Z3C, NP700Z5C, NP700Z7C and NP900X4C. The problem came to general attention as the result of a bug report which stated that laptops were bricked after just a single attempt to boot Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 in UEFI mode.

In a Google+ post, Greg Kroah-Hartman, who helped develop the driver and get it merged into the Linux kernel (1, 2), writes that Samsung developers assured him that it was not a problem for the driver to randomly poke the memory.

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