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“Black code” – experts found two critical vulnerabilities in Intel processors



As Izvestia reports, citing Positive Technologies specialists Mark Ermolov and Dmitry Sklyarov, two undocumented instructions were found in Intel processors that allow you to modify the microcode and take control of the processor.

Such capabilities are present, in particular, in Intel’s Atom processor line, which has been updated for more than ten years. Indirect indications indicate that these instructions are supported by all modern Intel processors.

In theory, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability by gaining a range of control over a compromised system, ranging from a simple remote shutdown to flashing the processor with microcode that performs the necessary tasks.

These instructions can be activated remotely in a special mode of operation of the Red Unlock processors, to which only Intel engineers should have access. However, some processors have vulnerabilities that allow third parties to enable Red Unlock mode.

Intel representatives have already stated that they are very serious about the results of this study and are studying the issue.

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