Intel's Remote Hijacking Flaw Was 'Worse Than Anyone Thought'

An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica:
A remote hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips for seven years was more severe than many people imagined, because it allowed hackers to remotely gain administrative control over huge fleets of computers without entering a password. This is according to technical analyses published Friday… AMT makes it possible to log into a computer and exercise the same control enjoyed by administrators with physical access [and] was set up to require a password before it could be remotely accessed over a Web browser interface. But, remarkably, that authentication mechanism can be bypassed by entering any text string — or no text at all…

“Authentication still worked” even when the wrong hash was entered, Tenable Director of Reverse Engineering Carlos Perez wrote. “We had discovered a complete bypass of the authentication scheme.” A separate technical analysis from Embedi, the security firm Intel credited with first disclosing the vulnerability, arrived at the same conclusion… Making matters worse, unauthorized accesses typically aren’t logged by the PC because AMT has direct access to the computer’s network hardware… The packets bypass the OS completely.
The article adds that Intel officials “said they expect PC makers to release a patch next week.” And in the meantime? “Intel is urging customers to download and run this discovery tool to diagnose potentially vulnerable computers.”
Saturday Ars Technica found more than 8,500 systems with an AMT interface exposed to the internet using the Shodan search engine — over 2,000 in the United States — adding that “many others may be accessible via organizational networks.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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