Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint Security

07:00 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

Intel Patching SGX Flaw That Can Lead to Escalation of Privileges

A security researcher has found another flaw in Intel's SGX software than can allow an attacker to escalate administrative privileges within an infected machine.

Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology is not looking so hot these days.

The current problem is CVE-2018-18098, which Intel calls an "improper file verification" that can be exploited on Windows machines to escalate privileges. That means an attacker could gain administrator rights by using this flaw and take then over a vulnerable computer by a process injection.

SGX has been built into all Intel processors since the Skylake x86 series was introduced in 2015. This feature sets up what the chip maker calls "secure enclaves" that can be used by an application so that no other app is allowed to access, compromise or copy the data that's contained in it.

There have been three major security problems found in SGX during the last year. Unlike others, this is not a hardware problem, but is due to the software that runs on top of the SGX hardware. (See Intel's SGX Vulnerable to Spectre-Like Flaw.)

(Source: iStock)
(Source: iStock)

This new flaw was found by SaifAllah benMassaoud, a security researcher at Vulnerability-lab.com located in Tunisia. His motivation seems to have been a bug bounty program.

He has told The Register that the exploit could be written in a .bat file, for example, which could then be opened from an email. Then, once it runs, the script downloads code from a server and then the attacker can gain administrative access on the target device.

A video shows that "the local reproduce session of a core team researcher exploiting an improper file verification in the install routine for Intel SGX SDK and Platform Software for Windows before 2.2.100."

So far, no exploitation of this flaw has been found in the wild.

To mitigate this, Intel has issued software patches for Microsoft Windows and Linux.

Related posts:

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Apprise is an open source library which allows you to send a notification to almost all of the most popular notification services available. In affected versions users who use Apprise granting them access to the IFTTT plugin (which just comes out of the box) are subject to a denial of service attack...
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Dada Mail is a web-based e-mail list management system. In affected versions a bad actor could give someone a carefully crafted web page via email, SMS, etc, that - when visited, allows them control of the list control panel as if the bad actor was logged in themselves. This includes changing any ma...
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The eID Easy WordPress plugin is vulnerable to Reflected Cross-Site Scripting via the error parameter found in the ~/admin.php file which allows attackers to inject arbitrary web scripts, in versions up to and including 4.6.
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Discourse is a platform for community discussion. In affected versions any private message that includes a group had its title and participating user exposed to users that do not have access to the private messages. However, access control for the private messages was not compromised as users were n...
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
TI’s BLE stack caches and reuses the LTK’s property for a bonded mobile. A LTK can be an unauthenticated-and-no-MITM-protection key created by Just Works or an authenticated-and-MITM-protection key created by Passkey Entry, Numeric Comparison or OOB. Assume that...