RTOS Kernel 10.0.1 as firmware on a Dell Precision laptop?

Hi folks, I had a strange situation occur in 2021 when I had a Dell precision laptop sent back from a warranty repair unrepaired after someone impersonated me on the phone with Dell. I had purchased this machine new from their website bout 6 months earlier and had locked myself out of the BIOS, but also had suspicion that the machine had been compromised by a firmware level rootkit.

I found that it was running RTOS kernel version 10.0.1 as discovered in the About sub-menu, under the UEFI configuration menus.
At the time this struck me as quite strange as what would a reduced function IOT kernel be doing on full function laptop hardware? When I searched for that I found no hits on Dell’s website and found only this website showing it was 2017 Amazon licensed…

Dell sent out a third-party contractor to replace the main board and hard drive, and the new mainboard also was using this version.
Does anyone know if RTOS is used on other laptops as a BIOS/UEFI? Any feedback is appreciated.

FreeRTOS is widely used outside of IoT and is frequently used in the subsystems of PC’s. The presence of FreeRTOS does not necessarily indicate nefarious firmware in your laptop.

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for responding could you give me one or two examples where I could verify what you are saying? It it’s presents at first didn’t seem suspicious until I was unable to get any correlating search results on Dell’s websites, including their support pages, that made me concerned.

I doubt you will get that information from Dell. I know for a fact FreeRTOS is used in some of the most common keyboard controllers and other system management chips, so don’t see anything suspicious about having it in your system. FreeRTOS surrounds you every day - I’ve found it in both my smart TV and wireless earplugs for example, both from top global brands.