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Intel Patches High-Severity Vulnerabilities in BIOS, Boot Guard

Intel on Tuesday announced the release of patches for multiple vulnerabilities across its product portfolio, including a series of high-severity vulnerabilities in the BIOS firmware of several processor models.

A total of nine documented high-severity issues impact multiple Intel Xeon, Pentium Silver, Rocket Lake Xeon, Core, and Core X series processors, the tech giant notes in an advisory.

The most severe of these are four bugs that could lead to elevation of privilege via local access. Tracked as CVE-2021-0154, CVE-2021-0153, CVE-2021-33123, and CVE-2021-0190, the issues have a CVSS score of 8.2.

The remaining five high-severity flaws detailed in the advisory could lead to escalation of privilege via local access as well, but have slightly lower CVSS scores. Intel’s advisory also documents two medium-severity issues.

Intel also announced the release of patches for a high-severity bug in Boot Guard and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). Tracked as CVE-2022-0004 (CVSS score of 7.3), the bug could be exploited to elevate privileges on a vulnerable system.

“Hardware debug modes and processor INIT setting that allow override of locks for some Intel Processors in Intel Boot Guard and Intel TXT may allow an unauthenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via physical access,” the company notes in an advisory.

The issue impacts several Intel processor models, including the latest three generations of Intel Core processors, some Celeron, Atom, Pentium, Xeon, Gold, and Silver models, and multiple chipset series.

The company recommends updating the Intel Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME) to the latest version, disabling the CPU debug feature when Boot Guard is enabled, and disabling the BSP (Bootstrap Processor) INIT (DBI) bit.

On Tuesday, the tech giant also published an advisory to document eight vulnerabilities in Optane SSD and Intel Optane SSD Data Center (DC) products, including three rated “high severity” and five “medium severity.”

The company also published information on patches for high-severity security holes in NUC firmware, and In-Band Manageability software, as well as for medium-severity issues in Advisor, XTU, Killer Control Center, Manageability Commander, and the SGX platform.

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