Serious flaw patched in Intel Driver Update Utility

The flaw could have allowed attackers to install malware on computers

A software utility that helps users download the latest drivers for their Intel hardware components contained a vulnerability that could have allowed man-in-the-middle attackers to execute malicious code on computers.

The tool, known as the Intel Driver Update Utility, can be downloaded from Intel's support website. It provides an easy way to find the latest drivers for various Intel chipsets, graphics cards, wireless cards, desktop boards, Intel NUC mini PCs or the Intel Compute Stick.

The vulnerability stems from the tool using unencrypted HTTP connections to check for driver updates. Such connections can be intercepted and modified by attackers located on the same local network as affected computers or in control of a router along their Internet connection paths.

The flaw was discovered by researchers from Core Security and was reported to Intel in November. The chip maker fixed the issue and released an updated version of the tool on Tuesday.

Intel Driver Update Utility users are strongly advised to download the latest version from Intel's support website.

The Core Security researchers found that the utility was checking for new driver versions by downloading XML files from Intel's website over HTTP. These files included the IDs of hardware components, the latest driver versions available for them and the corresponding download URLs. This information was displayed in the tool's interface and users would have to confirm the installation of any available updates.

The tool was designed to check that the download URLs pointed to files hosted under the intel.com domain name. However, man-in-the-middle attackers would have been able to both modify the XML files in transit and to bypass the tool's domain check by using techniques such as ARP poisoning and DNS spoofing, the Core researchers said in an advisory.

This vulnerability is the latest in a string of serious flaws found over the past year in support software distributed by hardware manufacturers.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Intel

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Lucian Constantin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place