It has not been a perfect year to start for Intel. After the industry-wide “Meltdown” and “Spectre” bugs in tons of processors, a security exploit is found in Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT) by the Finnish cyber security and privacy company, F-Secure. This problem is potentially affected countless numbers of business computers.
Intel Active Management Technology is a proprietary tool, that allow IT specialists to remotely monitor, maintain, update and control devices over the network. AMT is common equipped by business laptops with a vPro compatible processors.
F-Secure’s Senior Security Consultant, Harry Sintonen:
THE ATTACK IS ALMOST DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE TO ENACT, BUT IT HAS INCREDIBLE DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL. IN PRACTICE, IT CAN GIVE A LOCAL ATTACKER COMPLETE CONTROL OVER AN INDIVIDUAL’S WORK LAPTOP, DESPITE EVEN THE MOST EXTENSIVE SECURITY MEASURES
The new security flaw is found by one of the consultant from F-Secure back in July 2017. The exploit can be used by hackers to gain complete control over the affected devices in an extremely short amount of time. The device will still be vulnerable, even if most of your security measures are in place, such as BIOS password, TPM Pin and Bitlocker. Hackers can bypass passwords using Intel’s Management Engine BIOS Extension (MEBx).
To prevent this kind of attack, the most important step is to keep the computers in a secure location, because attackers will need to have physical access to the devices to use this particular exploit. Changing the default “admin” password to a much stronger one for AMT, or completely disabling AMT are also possible solutions.
Intel has not yet responded to the situation. You can check out F-Secure website for more information.
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