Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/22/2017
01:03 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Intel Firmware Flaws Found

Another big firmware security issue affecting Intel processors, requires OEM updates.

US-CERT yesterday issued an alert in response to newly discovered vulnerabilities in Intel's Management Engine (ME), Server Platform Services (SPS), and Trusted Execution Engine (TXE) firmware that could allow an attacker to wrest control of machines running Intel processors.

According to Intel, its processors affected by the vulns are: 

  • 6th, 7th & 8th Generation Intel Core Processor Family
  • Intel Xeon Processor E3-1200 v5 & v6 Product Family
  • Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family
  • Intel Xeon Processor W Family
  • Intel Atom C3000 Processor Family
  • Apollo Lake Intel Atom Processor E3900 series
  • Apollo Lake Intel Pentium
  • Celeron N and J series Processors

Researchers with Positive Technologies Research initially found the vulnerabilities in the ME and reported them to Intel. The researchers say they will provide more details on their findings during their presentation at Black Hat Europe next month.

"Intel ME is at the heart of a vast number of devices worldwide, which is why we felt it important to assess its security status. It sits deep below the OS and has visibility of a range of data, everything from information on the hard drive to the microphone and USB," said Maxim Goryachy, researcher at Positive Technologies. "Given this privileged level of access, a hacker with malicious intent could also use it to attack a target below the radar of traditional software-based countermeasures such as anti-virus."

Intel, meanwhile, said the flaws could allow an attacker to "impersonate" ME, SPS or TXE, and therefore compromise the machine's security; run code unnoticed by the user or the operating system, and to crash a system or cause "instability" to it.

The chip manufacturer advises checking with OEMs to get a firmware update, and released a downloadable tool to determine whether a machine contains the vulns. "Intel highly recommends checking with your system OEM for updated firmware," the company wrote in its security advisory.

This is the second major firmware vulnerability issue for Intel this year. In early May, the company disclosed a critical privilege-escalation bug in its Active Management Technology (AMT) firmware used in many Intel chips that affected AMT firmware versions dating back to 2010.

That vulnerability, which was discovered by security firm Embedi, could allow an attacker to remotely delete or reinstall the operating system, control the mouse and keyboard, and execute malware on the machine. Intel patched the bug in a firmware update, but like the latest firmware finding, it was up to OEMs to issue it to users.

Related Content:

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
It Takes an Average of 3 to 6 Months to Fill a Cybersecurity Job
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/12/2019
Cybercriminals Think Small to Earn Big
Dark Reading Staff 3/12/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: LOL  Hope this one wins
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
Organizations are responding to new threats with new processes for detecting and mitigating them. Here's a look at how the discipline of incident response is evolving.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6149
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
An unquoted search path vulnerability was identified in Lenovo Dynamic Power Reduction Utility prior to version 2.2.2.0 that could allow a malicious user with local access to execute code with administrative privileges.
CVE-2018-15509
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
Five9 Agent Desktop Plus 10.0.70 has Incorrect Access Control (issue 2 of 2).
CVE-2018-20806
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-17
Phamm (aka PHP LDAP Virtual Hosting Manager) 0.6.8 allows XSS via the login page (the /public/main.php action parameter).
CVE-2019-5616
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
CircuitWerkes Sicon-8, a hardware device used for managing electrical devices, ships with a web-based front-end controller and implements an authentication mechanism in JavaScript that is run in the context of a user's web browser.
CVE-2018-17882
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
An Integer overflow vulnerability exists in the batchTransfer function of a smart contract implementation for CryptoBotsBattle (CBTB), an Ethereum token. This vulnerability could be used by an attacker to create an arbitrary amount of tokens for any user.