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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security 2018
This Dark Reading Tech Digest explores the biggest news stories of 2018 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20735
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
** DISPUTED ** An issue was discovered in BMC PATROL Agent through 11.3.01. It was found that the PatrolCli application can allow for lateral movement and escalation of privilege inside a Windows Active Directory environment. It was found that by default the PatrolCli / PATROL Agent application only...
CVE-2019-0624
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A spoofing vulnerability exists when a Skype for Business 2015 server does not properly sanitize a specially crafted request, aka "Skype for Business 2015 Spoofing Vulnerability." This affects Skype.
CVE-2019-0646
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly sanitize user provided input, aka "Team Foundation Server Cross-site Scripting Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2019-0647
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
An information disclosure vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly handle variables marked as secret, aka "Team Foundation Server Information Disclosure Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2018-20727
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
Multiple command injection vulnerabilities in NeDi before 1.7Cp3 allow authenticated users to execute code on the server side via the flt parameter to Nodes-Traffic.php, the dv parameter to Devices-Graph.php, or the tit parameter to drawmap.php.