Lenovo patches two high severity flaws in PC support tool

The flaws could allow attackers to execute malicious code with system privileges and to kill other processes

Lenovo has fixed two high-severity vulnerabilities in the Lenovo Solution Center support tool that is preinstalled on many laptop and desktop PCs. The flaws could allow attackers to take over computers and terminate antivirus processes.

Lenovo Solution Center (LSC) allows users to check their system's virus and firewall status, update their Lenovo software, perform backups, check battery health, get registration and warranty information and run hardware tests.

The two new vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2016-5249 and CVE-2016-5248 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database, were found by security researchers from Trustwave. They affect LSC versions 3.3.002 and earlier.

The CVE-2016-5249 vulnerability allows an attacker who already has control of a limited account on a PC to execute malicious code via the privileged LocalSystem account.

Privilege escalation flaws like this one cannot be used by themselves to compromise computers, but are often used in exploit chains. Due to security improvements in modern operating systems, remote code execution flaws don't always provide attackers with full control over affected systems and need to be combined with privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

Because of the functionality in the LSC.Services.SystemService component, any local user can open a communication pipe to the service and force it to execute arbitrary .NET code. Because this LSC service runs under the LocalSystem account, the rogue code would also be executed with LocalSystem privileges.

The second vulnerability, CVE-2016-5248, allows any local user to send a command to LSC.Services.SystemService in order to kill any other process on the system, privileged or not. The target process could, for example, belong to an antivirus program or another security product.

Lenovo advises users to upgrade to LSC version 3.3.003. This can be done from the application itself by agreeing to automatic update prompt, from the separate Lenovo System Update utility or by downloading the latest version of LSC manually.

This is not the first time that serious flaws were found in LSC. However, Lenovo seems to be responding to such vulnerabilities in a timely manner by releasing patches and publishing security advisories. In a recent security analysis of the update tools preloaded on computers PC manufacturers, LSC was found to have one of the most secure implementations.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about LenovoLSCTrustwave

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