Feeds

Intel warns over bare-metal BIOS bug

Set bug panic meters to 'important'

High performance access to file storage

Intel has warned that some of its motherboards contain a flaw in their BIOS setup that creates a privilege escalation vulnerability.

As a result of the security bug, users already logged in as administrators could change code running in System Management Mode. SMM is a privileged operating environment that operates outside of operating system control, creating a possible mechanism (at least in theory) for mounting rootkit-style attacks on vulnerable systems.

Exploiting the bug would probably require physical access to affected systems, a fair amount of skill and not a little luck in locating a vulnerable box.

Desktop and server systems are both potentially affected by the bug, described by Intel as "important", so the flaw still merits close attention.

BIOS updates designed to mitigate against attack are available for vulnerable Intel motherboards, as explained in an advisory by the chip giant issued on Wednesday.

Intel lists the following desktop motherboards as potentially vulnerable: D5400XS, DX58SO, DX48BT2, DX38BT, DP45SG, DQ45CB, DQ45EK, DQ43AP, DB43LD, DG41MJ, DG41RQ, DG41TY, DG45ID, DG45FC, DG43NB, DP43TF, DQ35JO, DQ35MP, DG33BU, DG33FB, DG33TL, DP35DP, D945GSEJT, D945GCLF, D945GCLF2.

Intel Server Boards in the S3000, S3200, S5000 series, S5400 series, and S5500 series also need a BIOS update.

BIOS-related security flaws are rare but not unprecedented. The latest bug was discovered by researchers from Invisible Things Lab. Last year, the same researchers detailed a high-privilege rootkit vulnerability in Xen hypervisor that Intel addressed via a Bios update.

Invisible Things is due to present new research on attacking Intel BIOS at this week's Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, which is likely to be dominated by a detailed dissection of the issues arising from Intel's latest BIOS security advisory. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.