Intel fixes 95 vulnerabilities in November 2020 Platform Update

by chebbi abir

Intel provides a list of all affected products and recommendations for vulnerable products at the end of each advisory, as well as contact details for those who want to report other security issues or vulnerabilities found in Intel branded products or technology.

November 2020 Intel Platform Update highlights

Of note among the security updates issued this Tuesday, Intel addressed a critical vulnerability with a CVSS score of 9.4/10 in the Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) and Intel Standard Manageability (ISM) products.

The flaw (tracked as CVE-2020-8752) is an out-of-bounds write in the IPv6 subsystem of Intel AMT and ISM (versions prior to 11.8.80, 11.12.80, 11.22.80, 12.0.70, 14.0.45) that enables remote unauthenticated to escalate privileges.

Successful exploitation requires vulnerable products to be configured with IPv6 which is not a default configuration according to Intel.

A second critical security flaw (CVE-2020-12321) rated with a CVSS severity base score of 9.6/10 and affecting some Intel Wireless Bluetooth products was also addressed in the Intel November 2020 Platform Update.

The bug is an improper buffer restriction in Wireless Bluetooth products before version 21.110 that enables unauthenticated escalation of privilege via adjacent access (Local Area Network only).

Intel CPUs patched against new PLATYPUS side-channel attacks

New Intel CPU side-channel vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-8694 and CVE-2020-8695) dubbed PLATYPUS and disclosed by an international group of researchers from the Graz University of Technology, CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, and the University of Birmingham were also patched by called Platypus.

Successful exploitation of the two vulnerabilities could lead to information leakage from the Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) Interface, used to monitor and manage CPUs and DRAM memory power consumption.

The researchers showed that the RAPL interface can be used to keep an eye on targeted systems’ power consumption and infer what instructions were performed by the CPU, enabling attackers to steal data from memory.

All major operating systems are affected according to the research team. “On Linux, the powercap framework provides unprivileged access to Intel RAPL by default,” they said. “On Windows and macOS, the Intel Power Gadget needs to be installed.”

Additional technical info is available in this academic research paper [PDF], in Intel’s PLATYPUS security advisory, as well as in Xen’s security advisory.

The researchers also released a video demo showing how to steal AES-NI keys from protected Intel SGX enclaves in a PLATYPUS attack.

Intel microcode updates for Windows

Yesterday, Microsoft has also released a new batch of Intel microcode updates for Windows 10 20H2, 2004, 1909, and older versions to fix new vulnerabilities discovered in Intel CPUs (including PLATYPUS).

These microcode updates are offered to affected devices via Windows Update but they can also be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Catalog using these links:

  • KB4589212: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 2004 and 20H2, and Windows Server, version 2004 and 20H2
  • KB4589211: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 1903 and 1909, and Windows Server, version 1903 and 1909
  • KB4589208: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 1809 and Windows Server 2019
  • KB4589206: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 1803
  • KB4589210: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016
  • KB4589198: Intel microcode updates for Windows 10, version 1507

However, before applying them it is important to mention that previous updates are known to have caused system hangs and performance issues on older CPUs due to how the vulnerabilities were mitigated.

Full list of November 2020 Patch Tuesday advisories

You can find a list of all issued Intel security advisories below, with full details on each of the addressed vulnerabilities and info on impacted products and CPUs available within the linked Product Security Center entries.

“We encourage customers to check for updates with their system manufacturers or, where applicable, download directly from Intel,” Intel says.

Advisories Advisory Number
Intel DSA Advisory INTEL-SA-00449
Intel Board ID Tool Advisory INTEL-SA-00447
Intel Quartus Prime Advisory INTEL-SA-00446
Intel Server Board S2600ST & S2600WF Advisory INTEL-SA-00439
Intel Battery Life Diagnostic Tool Advisory INTEL-SA-00431
Intel Data Center Manager Console Advisory INTEL-SA-00430
Intel XTU Advisory INTEL-SA-00429
Intel CSI2 Host Controller Advisory INTEL-SA-00427
Open WebRTC Toolkit Advisory INTEL-SA-00424
Intel VTune Profiler Advisory INTEL-SA-00423
Intel Thunderbolt DCH Drivers for Windows Advisory INTEL-SA-00422
Intel HID Event Filter Driver Advisory INTEL-SA-00421
Intel QAT for Linux Advisory INTEL-SA-00420
Intel Processor Identification Utility Advisory INTEL-SA-00419
Intel Unite Cloud Service Client Advisory INTEL-SA-00418
Intel Advisor tools Advisory INTEL-SA-00417
Intel Falcon 8+ UAS AscTec Thermal Viewer Advisory INTEL-SA-00416
Intel ADAS IE Advisory INTEL-SA-00415
Intel NUC Firmware Advisory INTEL-SA-00414
Intel SCS Add-on for Microsoft* Advisory INTEL-SA-00413
Intel EMA Advisory INTEL-SA-00412
Intel Computing Improvement Program Advisory INTEL-SA-00410
Intel High Definition Audio Advisory INTEL-SA-00409
Intel RealSense D400 Series Dynamic Calibration Tool Advisory INTEL-SA-00408
Intel Wireless Bluetooth Advisory INTEL-SA-00403
Intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Software Advisory INTEL-SA-00402
Intel 50GbE IP Core for Intel Quartus Prime Advisory INTEL-SA-00400
Intel SGX DCAP Software Advisory INTEL-SA-00398
2020.2 IPU – Intel CSME, SPS, TXE, and AMT Advisory INTEL-SA-00391
Intel BIOS Platform Sample Code Advisory INTEL-SA-00390
2020.2 IPU – Intel RAPL Interface Advisory INTEL-SA-00389
Intel Stratix 10 FPGA SDM for Intel Quartus Prime Pro Advisory INTEL-SA-00388
2020.2 IPU – Intel Processor Advisory INTEL-SA-00381
Intel Ethernet 700 Series Controller Advisory INTEL-SA-00380
Intel Visual Compute Accelerator 2 Advisory INTEL-SA-00368
Intel SSD Advisory INTEL-SA-00362
Intel PMC Advisory INTEL-SA-00360
2020.2 IPU – BIOS Advisory INTEL-SA-00358
Intel Unite Client Advisory INTEL-SA-00350
Intel Media SDK for Windows* Advisory INTEL-SA-00262

“Intel coordinated today’s disclosure across the ecosystem to help ensure Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have updates available for end customers,” Intel’s Director of Communications Jerry Bryant said.

“At this time, we are not aware of any of these issues being used in actual attacks,” Bryant added.

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