Feeds

Intel warns over bare-metal BIOS bug

Set bug panic meters to 'important'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.