Dell Issues a Patch to Fix Flaws Impacting Its Computers Going Back to 2009

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Dell has launched a safety patch for its firmware replace driver module that carried as many as 5 high-severity flaws which are impacting doubtlessly lots of and tens of millions of its desktops, laptops, notebooks, and tablets primarily based on Home windows. The firmware replace driver module in query has been in use since at the least 2009 and is offered even on the newest Dell machines. Because of this the intense vulnerabilities have remained undisclosed for not lower than 12 years. The bugs might enable attackers to bypass safety and achieve kernel-level permissions to execute code and even transfer from one gadget to a different by getting access to an organisation’s community.

In response to Dell, the weak driver module is not available pre-installed on its machines and is offered solely after getting utilized a BIOS, Thunderbolt, TPM, or dock firmware replace to your system.

Dell additionally despatched this assertion to Devices 360: “We remediated a vulnerability (CVE-2021-21551) in a driver (dbutil_2_3.sys) affecting sure Home windows-based Dell computer systems. We have now seen no proof this vulnerability has been exploited by malicious actors to this point. We encourage clients to assessment the Dell Safety Advisory (DSA-2021-088) and comply with the remediation steps as quickly as doable. We have additionally posted an FAQ for added info. Because of the researchers for working instantly with us to resolve the difficulty.”

Menace intelligence agency SentinelLabs discovered the problems that exist in Dell’s firmware replace driver model 2.3 (dbutil_2_3.sys) module. The identical module is not only restricted to Dell machines but additionally some Alienware gaming laptops and desktops. SentinelLabs additionally cautioned that the weak driver module might nonetheless be utilized in a BYOVD assault as Dell didn’t revoke the certificates whereas releasing the patch.

Devices 360 has reached out to Dell for additional clarification.

One of many first points within the firmware replace driver module is that it accepts Enter/ Output Management (IOCTL) requests with none Entry Management (ACL) necessities.

“Permitting any course of to speak along with your driver is commonly a nasty observe since drivers function with the best of privileges; thus, some IOCTL capabilities may be abused ‘by design’,” SentinelLabs researcher Kasif Dekel mentioned.

The motive force module can also be discovered to permit execution of In/ Out (I/O) directions in kernel mode with arbitrary operands (LPE #Three and LPE #4). This in easier phrases signifies that one might work together with peripheral units such because the HDD and GPU to both learn or write on to the disk by bypassing all safety mechanisms within the working system.

Moreover, the driving force file itself is discovered to be positioned within the short-term folder of the working system. SentinelLabs calls it a bug in itself and believes that it opens the door to different points.

“The traditional technique to exploit this may be to remodel any BYOVD (Carry Your Personal Weak Driver) into an Elevation of Privileges vulnerability since loading a (weak) driver means you require administrator privileges, which primarily eliminates the necessity for a vulnerability,” the researcher famous.

Dell is conscious of the problems reported by SentinelLabs since December 2020 and has tracked them as CVE-2021-21551. The vulnerabilities additionally carry CVSS vulnerability-severity ranking of 8.Eight out of 10. Nonetheless, each Dell and SentinelLabs notice that they have not observed any proof of the vulnerabilities being exploited within the wild.

For all of the affected machines, Dell has released the patch that customers are extremely really useful to put in from their finish by means of the Dell or Alienware Replace utility. The corporate has additionally supplied an inventory of fashions which are being stand weak because of the bugs. The checklist contains over 380 fashions and contains a number of the standard Dell machines, corresponding to the newest XPS 13 and XPS 15 notebooks in addition to the Dell G3, G5, and G7 gaming laptops. There are additionally practically 200 affected machines which are not eligible for an official service and embrace the Alienware 14, Alienware 17, and the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Excessive.

This isn’t the primary time when a extreme safety concern has been discovered on Dell machines. In 2019, the corporate patched a critical flaw in its SupportAssist tool that affected tens of millions of its PC customers globally. One other critical concern was found in the Dell System Detect program again in 2015 that additionally uncovered a lot of its customers to assault.


Is MacBook Air M1 the transportable beast of a laptop computer that you just at all times wished? We mentioned this on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast. Orbital is offered on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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