A few years back, we saw some major flaws with many processors in the market. The Spectre and Meltdown, meant to steal data from the computer without user knowledge. And the fact that was undetectable by major Antiviruses, make it worse. However, it seems Intel is again affected by another flaw in their processor this time. And this flaw can easily defeat the purpose of hardware-level encryption and DRM protection at once.
The major issue here lies inside one of the Intel processor’s firmware securing section or Converged Security Management Engine. The CSME is responsible for securing all the firmware running on Intel systems. If you have a processor from the last 5 years, you got that flow! However, the 10th generation processor doesn’t have this flaw at all.
Although Intel has patched this vulnerability before, the flaw remains. The CSME firmware remains vulnerable when the system is booting up.
The Security researcher Ermolov from Positive Technologies comments:
The problem is not only that it is impossible to fix firmware errors that are hard-coded in the Mask ROM of microprocessors and chipsets. The larger worry is that, because this vulnerability allows a compromise at the hardware level, it destroys the chain of trust for the platform as a whole.
For a successful attack, the attacker needs to have physical access to the system. Or they need to run a malware that bypasses OS-level protection and runs a local attack.
Does Intel know about it?
Intel knows about this flaw and is currently working on the fixes, by making patches and by adding an extra layer of security. This is because they cannot change the firmware of the systems already sold out in the market.
Thanks to the new security designs of the new processors, this flaw will not affect the latest processors at all.
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