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Showing posts with label Software update. Show all posts

Millions of HP OMEN Gaming PCs Impacted by Driver Vulnerability

 

On Tuesday, security experts revealed data about a high-severity weakness in the HP OMEN driver software, which affects millions of gaming laptops worldwide and leaves them vulnerable to various cyberattacks. 

The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2021-3437 with a CVSS score: 7.8. Threat actors may escalate privileges to kernel mode without having administrator rights, enabling them to deactivate security products, overwrite system components, and even damage the operating system. 

The complete list of vulnerable devices includes HP ENVY, HP Pavilion, OMEN desktop gaming systems, and OMEN and HP Pavilion gaming laptops. 

SentinelOne, a cybersecurity firm that identified and communicated the flaw to HP on February 17, claimed it discovered no trace of in-the-wild exploitation. Customers have subsequently received a security update from the company to address the flaw. 

The problems are caused by OMEN Command Center, a pre-installed component on HP OMEN laptops and desktops and can also be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. The program is meant to assist smooth network activity, overclock the gaming PC for quicker computer performance, and monitor the GPU, CPU, and RAM through a vitals dashboard. 

Souce of flaw

According to research shared with The Hacker News by SentinelOne, "The problem is that HP OMEN Command Center includes a driver that, while ostensibly developed by HP, is actually a partial copy of another driver full of known vulnerabilities." 

"In the right circumstances, an attacker with access to an organization's network may also gain access to execute code on unpatched systems and use these vulnerabilities to gain local elevation of privileges. Attackers can then leverage other techniques to pivot to the broader network, like lateral movement." 

HpPortIox64.sys is the driver in issue, and it gets its functionality from OpenLibSys-developed-WinRing0.sys, which was the origin of a local privilege escalation flaw in EVGA Precision X1 software last year (CVE-2020-14979, CVSS score: 7.8). 

In August 2020, researchers from SpecterOps highlighted, "WinRing0 allows users to read and write to arbitrary physical memory, read and modify the model-specific registers (MSRs), and read/write to IO ports on the host. These features are intended by the driver's developers. However, because a low-privileged user can make these requests, they present an opportunity for local privilege escalation." 

This is the second time WinRing0.sys has been identified as a source of security vulnerabilities in HP products. 

In October 2019, SafeBreach Labs discovered a critical vulnerability in HP Touchpoint Analytics software (CVE-2019-6333), which is included with the driver, possibly enabling malicious actors to read arbitrary kernel memory and effectively allowlist malicious payloads via a signature validation bypass. 

The discovery is the third in a series of security flaws affecting software drivers that SentinelOne has discovered since the beginning of the year. 

Earlier this year, they found a 12-year-old privilege escalation problem in Microsoft Defender Antivirus (previously Windows Defender) that hackers could exploit to acquire admin access on unpatched Windows computers.

And last month, SentinelOne reported on a 16-year-old security flaw discovered in an HP, Xerox, and Samsung printer driver that allows attackers to obtain administrative access to computers running the vulnerable software.

Windows 10 New Feature Hunts and Thwarts PUAs/PUPs


Per reports, Microsoft has hinted that the next main version of Windows 10 will come stacked with a fresh security feature that would allow the users to facilitate the Windows Defender’s secret feature that helps hunt and bar the installation of known PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

PUA’s are also widely known as PUPs that stands for Potentially Unwanted Programs. These aren’t as well known by the users in the cyber-crime world as all the other major threats but are a valid threat nevertheless.

Per sources, these are software that is installed on devices via fooling the targets. The term for which the PUP/PUA stands is self-explanatory with regards to applications or programs that your device may not really need.

PUPs/PUAs go around with tactics like either by employing “silent installs” to dodge user permissions or by “bundling” an unrequired application with the installer of an authentic program.

Sources mention that PUAs most commonly contain applications that alter browser history, hinder security controls, install root certificates, track users and sell their data, and display invasive ads.

As per reports, the May 2020 update is to be rolled out to the users in the last week of this month. Microsoft mentioned that it has added a fresh new feature in its setting panel that would allow users to bar the installation of any unwanted applications or programs in the form of known PUAs/PUPs.

As it turns out, researchers mention that the feature has been available in the Windows Defender for quite a lot of time, but for it to kick start it would need group policies and not the usual Windows user interface.

As per sources, to enable the feature a user must go to ‘Start’, ‘Settings’, ‘Update & Security’, ‘Windows Security’, ‘App & Browser Control’, and finally 'Reputation-based Protection Settings’. Once updated, the feature would show two settings, the above-mentioned feature is disabled by default and would need to be enabled manually. However, Microsoft suggests, enabling both the settings.

Reports mention, that the “Block Apps” feature will scan for PUAs that have already been downloaded or installed, so if the user’s using a different browser Windows Security would intercept it after it’s downloaded. However, the “Block Downloads” feature hunts the PUAs while they are being downloaded.

Hackers used ASUS Software Updates to Install malware on thousands of computers





Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab found out that recent Asus’ software update system was hacked and used to distribute malware to millions of its customers.

The malware was masked as a  “critical” software update, which was distributed from the Asus’ servers. The malicious malware file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates that made it look an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says.

 The report of the hack was first reported by Motherboard, and Kaspersky Lab plans to release more details as soon as possible at an upcoming conference.

The intentions of hackers behind doing this is not clear. However, from the early investigation, it is reported that the hackers seem to target a bunch of specific Asus customers as it contains special instructions for 600 systems, which is identified by specific MAC addresses.

Till now, Asus has not contacted any of its affected customers or taken any step to stop the malware. In an email interview with the Verge, Asus said that they would issue an official statement on the malware tomorrow afternoon.

According to the Motherboard, Asus apparently denied that the malware had come from its servers.

“This attack shows that the trust model we are using based on known vendor names and validation of digital signatures cannot guarantee that you are safe from malware,” said Vitaly Kamluk, Asia-Pacific director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team who led the research.



Pilots still waiting for Software Update of Boeing, which was promised last year






After a deadly crash of the Lion Air 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia in last October, company officials have met pilot union, and said that they are planning to the software for their 737 Max jets, but till now there has not been a single update.

Meanwhile, addressing the issue, the United States regulators said the software update would be ready by April.

“Boeing was going to have a software fix in the next five to six weeks,” said Michael, the top safety official at the American Airlines pilots union. “We told them, ‘Yeah, it can’t drag out.’ And well, here we are.”

The planned software update would let pilots to detect the problem, and will them from recurrence of the same problem.  Boeing officials  believe that pilots doesn't need any special training in order to learn the functioning of the software update, but they just need a small briefing on how the software fix would function.