Intel patches flaws that could lead to privilege escalation

News by Rene Millman

Intel has been forced to release patches for five bugs in its systems, three of which enable escalation of privileges, allowing hackers access to infrastructure

Intel has been forced to release patches for five bugs in its systems, three of which enable escalation of privileges.

The three high-severity security vulnerabilities could result in privilege escalation. The first is found in Intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Software, its wireless connection management tool. The flaw, CVE-2018-12177, gets a CVSS score of 7.8, according to an Intel security advisory.

"Improper directory permissions in the ZeroConfig service in Intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Software before version 20.90.0.7 may allow an authorised user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access," said the advisory.

Intel has recommended that users update their systems to Intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Software version 20.90.0.7 or later.

The second flaw (CVE-2018-18098) affects Intel SGX SDK and Intel SGX Platform Software. According to an advisory for this, "improper file verification in install routine for Intel(R) SGX SDK and Platform Software for Windows before 2.2.100 may allow an escalation of privilege via local access."

A patch has been issued for this, alongside a medium-severity (detailed below).

A third vulnerability affects Intel System Support Utility for Windows. In a security advisory, Intel said that "Insufficient path checking in Intel(R) System Support Utility for Windows before 2.5.0.15 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable an escalation of privilege via local access."

This flaw has been fixed in Intel System Support Utility for Windows v.2.5.0.15 and later.

Of the medium severity flaws, the first one focused on the Intel SGX SDK and Intel SGX Platform Software (CVE-2018-12155). The vulnerability could result in information disclosure.

"Data leakage in cryptographic libraries for Intel(R) IPP before 2019 update 1 release may allow an unprivileged user to cause information disclosure via local access," said the advisory.

The second medium severity bug (CVE-2018-12166) affects Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X and may trigger denial-of-service.

"Insufficient write protection in firmware for Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X before version E2010435 may allow a privileged user to potentially enable a denial of service via local access," said the advisory.

As well as these flaws, Intel has released fixes for two more privilege escalation bugs having medium severity ratings. These include CVE-2018-3703 that affected Intel SSD Data Center Tool for Windows and CVE-2017-3718 that targeted the system firmware for Intel NUC.

"Improper directory permissions in the installer for the Intel SSD Data Center Tool for Windows before v3.0.17 may allow authenticated users to potentially enable an escalation of privilege via local access," said the advisory.

In November last year, security researchers discovered  a side-channel vulnerability in Intel chips involving hyperthreading technology that would enable an attacker to break encryption. In October, researchers at Cisco Talos discovered  flaws and vulnerabilities in the Intel Unified Shader compiler for the Intel Graphics Accelerator that could enable a hacker attacker with normal user privileges in the guest to make a virtual machine unresponsive.

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