Tuesday May 02, 2017

Intel Patches Remote Execution Hole That's Been in Server Chips since 2008

Better late than neverآ—though, to be fair, the vulnerability was only reported last month. For nearly a decade, there existed a flaw that allowed hackers to silently infiltrate machines and install undetectable malware, but now there is a firmware-level fix that you can bug your manufacturer for. Consumer PCs are not affected, but you should be concerned if you own business or server boxes, particularly those with vPro and AMT features enabled.

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For the past nine years, millions of Intel workstation and server chips have harbored a security flaw that can be potentially exploited to remotely control and infect systems with spyware. Specifically, the bug is in Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT), Standard Manageability (ISM) and Small Business Technology (SBT) firmware versions 6 to 11.6. According to Chipzilla, the security hole allows "an unprivileged attacker to gain control of the manageability features provided by these products." That means it is possible for hackers to log into a vulnerable computer's hardware آ– right under the nose of the operating system آ– and silently tamper with the machine, install virtually undetectable malware, and so on, using AMT's features.