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Intel Patches Serious Vulnerability in Processor Diagnostic Tool

Intel’s Patch Tuesday updates for July 2019 fix a serious vulnerability in the company’s Processor Diagnostic Tool and a less serious issue in its Solid State Drives (SSD) for Data Centers (DC) product.

The flaw affecting the Processor Diagnostic Tool is tracked as CVE-2019-11133 and Intel has assigned it a “high severity” rating with a CVSS score of 8.2.

According to the tech giant, an attacker who has access to a system running the tool can exploit the vulnerability to escalate privileges, obtain information, or cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition.

The security hole, reported to Intel by researcher Jesse Michael of Eclypsium, has been addressed with the release of version 4.1.2.24. Prior versions, both for 32-bit and 64-bit systems, are affected.

The second vulnerability patched by Intel affects SSD DC S4500/S4600 series firmware and it can also be exploited for privilege escalation. However, this weakness has been classified as “medium severity” as exploitation requires physical access to the targeted device.

The issue, discovered internally by Intel, affects firmware versions prior to SCV10150, which contains a patch.

Intel’s updates for May 2019 patched several Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulnerabilities affecting most processors made in the last decade.

The flaws, discovered by researchers at Intel and other organizations, are related to speculative execution and they have been named ZombieLoad, RIDL, Fallout, and Store-to-Leak Forwarding.

They can be exploited locally or remotely to get applications, operating systems, virtual machines and trusted execution environments to leak potentially sensitive information, such as passwords, website content, disk encryption keys and browser history. However, Intel says real-world attacks are not easy to carry out and even if the exploit is successful the attacker may not obtain any valuable information.

Related: Meltdown-Like 'LazyFP' Vulnerability Impacts Intel CPUs

Related: New Side-Channel Vulnerability Leaks Sensitive Data From Intel Chips

Related: Intel CPUs Vulnerable to New 'BranchScope' Attack

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.