Two dangerous vulnerabilities were found in Intel processors – they were laid by the manufacturer
It became known that two critical vulnerabilities were found in Intel processors, the exploitation of which allows taking control of the device. Izvestia writes about this with reference to information security specialists from Positive Technologies.
According to the available data, we are talking about possibilities undocumented by the manufacturer. Access to them opens in a special mode, which is most often available only to Intel engineers, but in certain scenarios, it can be activated by hackers. These vulnerabilities primarily affect processors used in netbooks, tablets, and cash registers. However, experts believe that similar undocumented features may be present in all current Intel processors, which represents a serious potential threat.
Two undocumented instructions in Intel processors that can be used to change the microcode in order to take control of the processor and the entire system were identified by Positive Technologies employees Mark Ermolov and Dmitry Sklyarov, who worked together with independent researcher Maxim Goryachy. Experts note that these instructions ” allow you to bypass all the existing protection mechanisms of the x86 architecture in modern processors .” Hidden features were discovered in Intel’s Atom family of processors, which are still being updated. As part of the study, it was possible to identify indirect signs indicating that the detected instructions can be supported by all modern Intel processors.
The identified vulnerabilities are potentially dangerous for users of devices based on Intel Atom processors. These are chips with low power consumption, which are mainly used in netbooks, tablets, POS terminals, and cash registers.