Intel Wi-Fi hit by trio of nasty security holes – so update now

Man looking frustrated in front of laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock/fizkes)

Intel has just pushed out a bunch of fixes for vulnerabilities in its Wi-Fi adapters, and also a security flaw with Bluetooth.

The company outlined the problems in a trio of security advisories spotted by our sister site PC Gamer – see SA-00539 and SA-00582 for Wi-Fi, and SA-00581 for Bluetooth – with the issues with Wi-Fi being more serious.

Intel Wi-Fi AX210, AX201, AX200 and Killer AX1675 plus AX1650 products are affected by the latter, both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E products (which will be present on contemporary Intel motherboards – and some AMD ones, too), as well as older Wi-Fi 5 chipsets as listed in the above advisories.

Update drivers now

Users can patch up these problems by downloading the most recent driver version for your particular wireless adapter from Intel.

To find out what wireless adapter you have, type ‘device manager’ into the search box on the taskbar, and click on it when it pops up at the top under Best Match.

Look through the list of devices and click on ‘Network Adapters’, and you’ll find the name and model of your ‘Intel Wireless Adapter’ under here. 

You can download the relevant updated Windows 10 (and Windows 11) driver for Intel wireless adapters here, or in the case of Killer network adapters, grab the latest Intel Killer Performance Suite here.

Analysis: Escalation trepidation, but with caveats

The three most worrying security holes here, which pertain to Wi-Fi, are rated as ‘high’ in terms of severity by Intel, and come alongside a pile of ‘medium’ vulnerabilities (there are 23 flaws in total). The critical ones enable an attacker to facilitate escalation of privileges via ‘adjacent access’, meaning they can gain access to your machine and potentially do nasty things – if on the same network.

That means if you’re sat at home on your own network, there’s not going to be a problem, but if you’re out somewhere on public Wi-Fi, a laptop with outdated wireless drivers could be open to attack – as you’re on a network with other (‘adjacent’) folks.

The sole Bluetooth issue is less critical in nature, and can only be leveraged to create a ‘denial of service’ attack, disrupting the use of your system, but not doing anything truly horrible like infecting it with malware. Still, it’s not something you want to happen, of course.

Keeping your drivers up to date across all the hardware on your system, and maintaining regular software updates too, is always a prudent thing to do.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).