Posted on May 5, 2017 at 6:37 AM
A truly massive security flaw was discovered within Intel, the largest and highest valued chip maker in the world. Intel is 48 years old, and it’s estimated that its value is around $113 billion, with revenues of $59 billion. However, they’ve recently discovered a huge vulnerability, which is why a security update marked as ‘urgent’ was released.
Intel has warned that pretty much every single enterprise PC that’s powered by Intel, and was sold in the previous 10 years has a flaw that makes it vulnerable to hacking attacks. This is the largest security failure that was ever discovered by the company, and it makes every enterprise PC that was powered by Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Standard Manageability, and Intel Small Business Technology since 2008 until now a potential target.
All of the users were asked to urgently update their systems and download the patch. Fortunately, no consumer PCs were affected by this flaw, nor were data center servers.
It would seem that the management engine of the three previously mentioned platforms has some sort of security hole, that can allow hackers remote control of the enterprise PCs. Intel has stated so in the security update notice and has given the list of the affected versions of the firmware. Basically, every platform from Nehalem that was shipped back in 2008, to Core processors, and with versions from 6.0 to 11.6 has this security hole and is therefore in danger.
What Is The Flaw Of Intel-Based PCs?
This is extremely dangerous for many companies and businesses since hacking of one single computer can give someone access to the entire business. Let’s use Walmart as an example. If they used an enterprise PC in order to monitor all of their retail checkout systems, a hacker that gains control of this one single PC would also gain control of everything the PC controls. They would have access to an entire fleet of computers and could steal data, or manipulate it, or pretty much do anything they wanted to.
We should mention that for now, luckily, there were no exploits of this flaw, as reported by Intel themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to relax, and as soon the computers get their update, the sooner will the danger be dealt with.
What is the Solution?
Intel has asked all of their users to first check if they have any of the Intel SBA, AMT or ISM processors. If these processors aren’t being used on your PC, you’re safe and have nothing to worry about. If you do have one of them, you should find and download Intel’s detection guide, and check if you have one of the flawed versions. If you do, the patch will be necessary, or your system might get hacked.
The vulnerability can also be reduced by removing, or at least disabling a Windows service named Local Manageability Service.
This is all the information available so far. Keep checking for the newest development, and make sure to protect your system, if you think that your PC might be flawed as well.