Cybersecurity researchers from Quarkslab have discovered two vulnerabilities in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, which could spell major trouble for “billions” of devices.
TPM 2.0 is a chip that PC manufacturers have been adding to the motherboards since mid-2016. The technology, as Microsoft explains, is designed to provide “security-related functions”. The chip helps generate, store, and limit the use of cryptographic keys.
Many TPMs, the company further explains, include physical security mechanisms to make them tamper-resistant.
TPM 2.0 flaw
Now, researchers Francisco Falcon and Ivan Arce discovered out-of-bounds read (CVE-2023-1017) and out-of-bounds write (CVE-2023-1018) vulnerabilities, which could allow threat actors to escalate privileges and steal sensitive data from vulnerable endpoints. The impact of the flaws could differ from vendor to vendor, BleepingComputer said.
The CERT Coordination Center published an alert about the flaws, and claims to have been notifying vendors for months, however only a handful of entities have confirmed they are impacted.
"An attacker who has access to a TPM-command interface can send maliciously-crafted commands to the module and trigger these vulnerabilities," warned CERT. “This allows either read-only access to sensitive data or overwriting of normally protected data that is only available to the TPM (e.g., cryptographic keys)."
Organizations worried about these flaws should move to one of these fixed versions:
TMP 2.0 v1.59 Errata version 1.4 or higher
TMP 2.0 v1.38 Errata version 1.13 or higher
TMP 2.0 v1.16 Errata version 1.6 or higher
Apparently, Lenovo is the only major OEM to have already issued a security advisory about these flaws, with others hopefully set to follow suit soon.
To abuse the flaw, a threat actor would need to have authenticated access to a device. However, any malware already running on the endpoint would have that prerequisite, the researchers warned.
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