New Intel chip flaw allows malicious agents to be inserted into systems

A new flaw in the chips of Intel not only does it threaten to expose privileged information from devices, but also that they insert new data into hacked systems, according to a report by ZDNet. The problem, however, is not something the average user has to worry about (for now).

As we know, this is not the first major flaw that affects Intel chips: there are also three other loopholes that allow us to break into systems powered by the manufacturer's processors: Meltdown, Specter and ZombieLoad. The new flaw, however, has a much less catchy name: Load Value Injection (LVI).

The vulnerability (CVE-2020-0551) was discovered by the online security company BitDefender (the same as the antivirus) and by a group of researchers from an American university. The exact technical details (documented here) of the failure do not suit us now, but the fact that LVI is part of a category of failures related to a computer architecture technique called “speculative execution” (Branch prediction).

Unlike the flaws discovered some time ago, the most recent vulnerability "allows attackers to inject malicious data into certain micro-architectural structures", which are then used by the victim, "which could lead to the disclosure of privileged information". In short: this allows for data theft, including encrypted data or passwords stored in the processor's memory.

Check out the video with the proof of concept of failure below:

According to the researchers, the attack requires the insertion of data into the SGX Enclave, which can theoretically be performed using the JavaScript language.

This means that the attacker does not necessarily need to have local access to the machine, but they also note that the vulnerability is extremely difficult to exploit, which means that it is not an imminent threat to most users.

To mitigate the possible effects of failure on platforms and applications using SGX, Intel is releasing updates to SGX Platform Software that include guidance on how to reduce the impact of LVI on apps. So there is no reason to panic; just keep your computer's operating system up to date and always download apps from trusted / secure sources.

via TechCrunch