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UEFI Firmware | Breaking Cybersecurity News | The Hacker News

PixieFail UEFI Flaws Expose Millions of Computers to RCE, DoS, and Data Theft

PixieFail UEFI Flaws Expose Millions of Computers to RCE, DoS, and Data Theft

Jan 18, 2024 Firmware Security / Vulnerability
Multiple security vulnerabilities have been disclosed in the TCP/IP network protocol stack of an open-source reference implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) specification used widely in modern computers. Collectively dubbed  PixieFail  by Quarkslab, the  nine issues  reside in the TianoCore EFI Development Kit II ( EDK II ) and could be exploited to achieve remote code execution, denial-of-service (DoS), DNS cache poisoning, and leakage of sensitive information. UEFI firmware – which is responsible for  booting the operating system  – from AMI, Intel, Insyde, and Phoenix Technologies are impacted by the shortcomings. EDK II incorporates its own TCP/IP stack called  NetworkPkg  to enable network functionalities available during the initial Preboot eXecution Environment ( PXE , pronounced "pixie") stage, which allows for management tasks in the absence of a running operating system. In other words, it is a client-server interface to  boot a
NSA Releases Guide to Combat Powerful BlackLotus Bootkit Targeting Windows Systems

NSA Releases Guide to Combat Powerful BlackLotus Bootkit Targeting Windows Systems

Jun 23, 2023 Threat Intel / Endpoint Security
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) on Thursday released guidance to help organizations detect and prevent infections of a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) bootkit called  BlackLotus . To that end, the agency is  recommending  that "infrastructure owners take action by hardening user executable policies and monitoring the integrity of the boot partition." BlackLotus is an  advanced  crimeware solution that was first spotlighted in October 2022 by Kaspersky. A UEFI bootkit capable of bypassing Windows Secure Boot protections, samples of the malware have since emerged in the wild. This is accomplished by taking advantage of a known Windows flaw called Baton Drop ( CVE-2022-21894 , CVSS score: 4.4) discovered in vulnerable  boot loaders  not added into the  Secure Boot DBX revocation list . The vulnerability was addressed by Microsoft in January 2022. This loophole could be exploited by threat actors to replace fully patched boot loaders with vulnerable v
Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Feb 13, 2024SaaS Security / Data Breach
The Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian cybersecurity incidents raised alarms about the vulnerabilities inherent in major SaaS platforms. These incidents illustrate the stakes involved in SaaS breaches — safeguarding the integrity of SaaS apps and their sensitive data is critical but is not easy. Common threat vectors such as sophisticated spear-phishing, misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in third-party app integrations demonstrate the complex security challenges facing IT systems. In the case of Midnight Blizzard, password spraying against a test environment was the initial attack vector. For Cloudflare-Atlassian, threat actors initiated the attack via compromised  OAuth tokens  from a prior breach at Okta, a SaaS identity security provider.  What Exactly Happened? Microsoft Midnight Blizzard Breach Microsoft was targeted by the Russian "Midnight Blizzard" hackers (also known as Nobelium, APT29, or Cozy Bear) who are linked to the SVR, the Kremlin's forei
Critical Firmware Vulnerability in Gigabyte Systems Exposes ~7 Million Devices

Critical Firmware Vulnerability in Gigabyte Systems Exposes ~7 Million Devices

May 31, 2023 Firmware Security / Vulnerability
Cybersecurity researchers have found "backdoor-like behavior" within Gigabyte systems, which they say enables the  UEFI firmware  of the devices to drop a Windows executable and retrieve updates in an unsecure format. Firmware security firm Eclypsium  said  it first detected the anomaly in April 2023. Gigabyte has since acknowledged and addressed the issue. "Most Gigabyte firmware includes a Windows Native Binary executable embedded inside of the UEFI firmware," John Loucaides, senior vice president of strategy at Eclypsium, told The Hacker News. "The detected Windows executable is dropped to disk and executed as part of the Windows startup process, similar to the  LoJack double agent attack . This executable then downloads and runs additional binaries via insecure methods." "Only the intention of the author can distinguish this sort of vulnerability from a malicious backdoor," Loucaides added. The executable, per Eclypsium, is embedded in
cyber security

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.
MSI Data Breach: Private Code Signing Keys Leaked on the Dark Web

MSI Data Breach: Private Code Signing Keys Leaked on the Dark Web

May 08, 2023 Data Breach / Software Security
The threat actors behind the ransomware attack on Taiwanese PC maker MSI last month have leaked the company's private code signing keys on their dark website. "Confirmed, Intel OEM private key leaked, causing an impact on the entire ecosystem," Alex Matrosov, founder and CEO of firmware security firm Binarly,  said  in a tweet over the weekend. "It appears that Intel Boot Guard may not be effective on certain devices based on the 11th Tiger Lake, 12th Adler Lake, and 13th Raptor Lake." Present in the leaked data are firmware image signing keys associated with 57 PCs and private signing keys for Intel Boot Guard used on 116 MSI products. The Boot Guard keys from MSI are believed to impact several device vendors, including Intel, Lenovo and Supermicro. Intel Boot Guard is a  hardware-based security technology  that's designed to protect computers against executing tampered UEFI firmware. The development comes a month after MSI  fell victim  to a double
BlackLotus Becomes First UEFI Bootkit Malware to Bypass Secure Boot on Windows 11

BlackLotus Becomes First UEFI Bootkit Malware to Bypass Secure Boot on Windows 11

Mar 01, 2023 Endpoint Security / Cyber Threat
A stealthy Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) bootkit called BlackLotus has become the first publicly known malware capable of bypassing Secure Boot defenses, making it a potent threat in the cyber landscape. "This bootkit can run even on fully up-to-date Windows 11 systems with UEFI Secure Boot enabled," Slovak cybersecurity company ESET  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. UEFI bootkits  are deployed in the FAT32 system partition and allow full control over the operating system (OS) boot process, thereby making it possible to disable OS-level security mechanisms and deploy arbitrary payloads during startup with high privileges. Offered for sale at $5,000 (and $200 per new subsequent version), the powerful and persistent toolkit is programmed in Assembly and C and is 80 kilobytes in size. It also features geofencing capabilities to avoid infecting computers in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Details about Black
Qualcomm Chipsets and Lenovo BIOS Get Security Updates to Fix Multiple Flaws

Qualcomm Chipsets and Lenovo BIOS Get Security Updates to Fix Multiple Flaws

Jan 04, 2023 Firmware Security
Qualcomm on Tuesday  released patches  to address multiple security flaws in its chipsets, some of which could be exploited to cause information disclosure and memory corruption. The five vulnerabilities -- tracked from CVE-2022-40516 through CVE-2022-40520 -- also impact Lenovo ThinkPad X13s laptops, prompting the Chinese PC maker to issue BIOS updates to plug the security holes. The list of flaws is as follows - CVE-2022-40516, CVE-2022-40517 & CVE-2022-40520  (CVSS scores: 8.4) - Memory corruption in Core due to  stack-based buffer overflow CVE-2022-40518 & CVE-2022-40519  (CVSS scores: 6.8) - Information disclosure due to  buffer over-read  in Core Stack-based buffer overflow vulnerabilities can result in severe impacts, such as data corruption, system crashes, and arbitrary code execution. Buffer over-reads, on the other hand, can be weaponized to read out-of-bounds memory, leading to the exposure of secret data. Successful exploitation of the aforementioned flaw
Researchers Uncover UEFI Secure Boot Bypass in 3 Microsoft Signed Boot Loaders

Researchers Uncover UEFI Secure Boot Bypass in 3 Microsoft Signed Boot Loaders

Aug 12, 2022
A security feature bypass vulnerability has been uncovered in three signed third-party Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) boot loaders that allow bypass of the UEFI Secure Boot feature. "These vulnerabilities can be exploited by mounting the EFI System Partition and replacing the existing bootloader with the vulnerable one, or modifying a UEFI variable to load the vulnerable loader instead of the existing one," hardware security firm Eclypsium  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The following  vendor-specific boot loaders , which were signed and authenticated by Microsoft, have been found vulnerable to the bypass and have been patched as part of the tech giant's  Patch Tuesday update  released this week - Eurosoft Boot Loader ( CVE-2022-34301 ) New Horizon Data Systems Inc Boot Loader ( CVE-2022-34302 ), and Crypto Pro Boot Loader ( CVE-20220-34303 ) Secure Boot is a  security standard  designed to thwart malicious programs from loading w
Experts Uncover New 'CosmicStrand' UEFI Firmware Rootkit Used by Chinese Hackers

Experts Uncover New 'CosmicStrand' UEFI Firmware Rootkit Used by Chinese Hackers

Jul 25, 2022
An unknown Chinese-speaking threat actor has been attributed to a new kind of sophisticated Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) firmware rootkit called  CosmicStrand . "The rootkit is located in the firmware images of Gigabyte or ASUS motherboards, and we noticed that all these images are related to designs using the H81 chipset," Kaspersky researchers  said  in a new report published today. "This suggests that a common vulnerability may exist that allowed the attackers to inject their rootkit into the firmware's image." Victims identified are said to be private individuals located in China, Vietnam, Iran, and Russia, with no discernible ties to any organization or industry vertical. Rootkits, which are malware implants that are capable of embedding themselves in the deepest layers of the operating system, have morphed from a rarity to an increasingly common occurrence in the threat landscape, equipping threat actors with stealth and persistence f
New UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Impact Several Lenovo Notebook Models

New UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Impact Several Lenovo Notebook Models

Jul 13, 2022
Consumer electronics maker Lenovo on Tuesday  rolled out fixes  to contain three security flaws in its UEFI firmware affecting over 70 product models. "The vulnerabilities can be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution in the early phases of the platform boot, possibly allowing the attackers to hijack the OS execution flow and disable some important security features," Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET  said  in a series of tweets. Tracked as CVE-2022-1890, CVE-2022-1891, and CVE-2022-1892, all three bugs relate to  buffer overflow vulnerabilities  that have been described by Lenovo as leading to privilege escalation on affected systems. Martin Smolár from ESET has been credited with reporting the flaws. The bugs stem from an insufficient validation of an NVRAM variable called "DataSize" in three different drivers ReadyBootDxe, SystemLoadDefaultDxe, and SystemBootManagerDxe, resulting in a buffer overflow that could be weaponized to achieve code execution.
New Lenovo UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Affect Millions of Laptops

New Lenovo UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Affect Millions of Laptops

Apr 19, 2022
Three high-impact Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) security vulnerabilities have been discovered impacting various Lenovo consumer laptop models, enabling malicious actors to deploy and execute firmware implants on the affected devices. Tracked as CVE-2021-3970, CVE-2021-3971, and CVE-2021-3972, the latter two "affect firmware drivers originally meant to be used only during the manufacturing process of Lenovo consumer notebooks," ESET researcher Martin Smolár  said  in a report published today. "Unfortunately, they were mistakenly included also in the production BIOS images without being properly deactivated," Smolár added. Successful exploitation of the flaws could permit an attacker to disable SPI flash protections or Secure Boot, effectively granting the adversary the ability to install persistent malware that can survive system reboots. CVE-2021-3970, on the other hand, relates to a case of memory corruption in the System Management Mode ( SMM
New 16 High-Severity UEFI Firmware Flaws Discovered in Millions of HP Devices

New 16 High-Severity UEFI Firmware Flaws Discovered in Millions of HP Devices

Mar 08, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed 16 new high-severity vulnerabilities in various implementations of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware impacting multiple HP enterprise devices. The  shortcomings , which have CVSS scores ranging from 7.5 to 8.8, have been uncovered in HP's UEFI firmware. The variety of devices affected includes HP's laptops, desktops, point-of-sale (PoS) systems, and edge computing nodes. "By exploiting the vulnerabilities disclosed, attackers can leverage them to perform privileged code execution in firmware, below the operating system, and potentially deliver persistent malicious code that survives operating system re-installations and allows the bypass of endpoint security solutions (EDR/AV), Secure Boot and Virtualization-Based Security isolation," American firmware security company Binarly said in a report shared with The Hacker News. The most severe of the flaws concern a number of memory corruption vulnera
Dozens of Security Flaws Discovered in UEFI Firmware Used by Several Vendors

Dozens of Security Flaws Discovered in UEFI Firmware Used by Several Vendors

Feb 02, 2022
As many as 23 new high severity security vulnerabilities have been disclosed in different implementations of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) firmware used by numerous vendors, including Bull Atos, Fujitsu, HP, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, among others. The vulnerabilities reside in Insyde Software's InsydeH2O UEFI firmware, according to enterprise firmware security company  Binarly , with a majority of the anomalies diagnosed in the System Management Mode ( SMM ). UEFI is a software specification that provides a standard programming interface connecting a computer's firmware to its operating system during the booting process. In x86 systems, the UEFI firmware is usually stored in the flash memory chip of the motherboard. "By exploiting these vulnerabilities, attackers can successfully install malware that survives operating system re-installations and allows the bypass of endpoint security solutions (EDR/AV),  Secure Boot , and Virtualization-Based Securit
Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks

Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks

Jan 21, 2022
A previously undocumented firmware implant deployed to maintain stealthy persistence as part of a targeted espionage campaign has been linked to the Chinese-speaking Winnti advanced persistent threat group ( APT41 ). Kaspersky, which codenamed the rootkit  MoonBounce ,  characterized  the malware as the "most advanced  UEFI  firmware implant discovered in the wild to date," adding "the purpose of the implant is to facilitate the deployment of user-mode malware that stages execution of further payloads downloaded from the internet." Firmware-based rootkits, once a rarity in the threat landscape, are fast becoming lucrative tools among sophisticated actors to help achieve long standing foothold in a manner that's not only hard to detect, but also difficult to remove. The first firmware-level rootkit — dubbed  LoJax  — was discovered in the wild in 2018. Since then, three different instances of UEFI malware have been unearthed so far, including  MosaicRegresso
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