Feeds

Intel warns over bare-metal BIOS bug

Set bug panic meters to 'important'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.