The high austereness ( CVSS 7.1 ) privilege escalation vulnerability CVE-2021-0146 is an unprotected debug functionality, thus exposing firmware encoding keys.
According to Intel ’ s advisory, the vulnerability activates test or debug logic at runtime, allowing an unauthenticated attacker to escalate privileges through physical entree .
Intel advised users to install vendor-specific firmware updates containing security fixes for the reported vulnerability .
Intel’s security flaw exposes encryption keys allowing spyware installation
Intel ’ s CPUs security flaw allows attackers to expose Intel ’ s Platform Trust Technology ( PPT ) and Enhanced Privacy ID ( EPID ) ancestor encoding keys .
Attackers can extract this key to gain entree and copy DRM-protected digital contented such as eBooks .
“ Using this vulnerability, an intruder might extract the beginning EPID samara from a device ( e-book ), and then, having compromised Intel EPID technology, download electronic materials from providers in charge form, copy and distribute them. ”
The vulnerability allows threat actors to bypass BitLocker and trusted platform modules ( TPM ) security protection to circumvent code-signing restrictions and run compromised firmware in the Intel Management Engine .
The attacker requires physical access to the vulnerable device to bypass TPM and BitLocker, making the security defect a potential risk for steal devices. however, the researchers did not find evidence of any attacks in the crazy .
Technology web site Ars Technica says the work requires about 10 minutes to complete. however, the attack requires direct interaction and physical access, thus unfavorable for mass exploitation .
The web site explains that each Intel CPU has a singular samara used as a “ chipset keystone fuse ” and is responsible for generating TPM and EPID encoding keys .
According to the researchers, an attacker can extract this key, decrypt it, and use it to run arbitrary code in Intel ’ randomness Management engine to extract TPM, BitLocker, EPID encoding keys. The attacker uses the encoding keys to unlock the device .
“ One example of a real terror is lost or stolen laptops that contain confidential information in code form, ” Ermolov wrote. “ Using this vulnerability, an attacker can extract the encoding key and gain entree to [ the ] information within the laptop. ”
Intel advises users to protect their devices from unauthorized physical access. consequently, this vulnerability renders BitLocker and TPM pleonastic in protecting computing devices from unauthorized physical access.
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The researchers besides noted that an attacker could leverage the security defect to execute supply chain attacks targeting Intel CPU-based devices .
“ For example, an employee of an Intel processor-based device supplier could extract the Intel CSME firmware key and deploy spyware that security software would not detect. ”
other researchers have discovered several security vulnerabilities affecting Intel CPUs in the stopping point two years. They include four Software Guard eXtensions ( SGX ) security flaws that could expose users ’ sensible data .
Others include Boot Guard vulnerabilities and unpatched security loopholes in Intel TPM ’ s Converged Security and Management Engine. similarly, Intel ’ south products have experienced Spectre and Meltdown attacks .
big technical school companies are wary of using Intel chips as the initiation of their Trusted Computing Bases ( TCB ). Companies like Apple and Google are looking for alternative custom chips to power their computer science centers .
List of Intel CPUs affected by privilege escalation security flaw
Intel ’ s privilege escalation security defect affects some processors in the desktop, mobile, and embedded segments. It affects Apollo Lake, Gemini Lake, and Gemini Lake Refresh versions of Pentium, Celeron, and Atom processors .
Researchers discovered a prerogative escalation # security flaw in Intel CPUs that allows attackers to access TPM, # BitLocker, and other security system # encoding keys. # cybersecurity # respectdata
specific versions include Intel Pentium J, N, and Pentium Silver series ; Intel Celeron J and N Series, and Intel Atom A, C3000, and E3900 series. These low-power and low-cost CPUs run embedded systems including medical devices, mobile devices, and brassy desktops and laptops. Given the low precedence accorded to low-end devices, these firmware updates could take a while or everlastingly.