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Supermicro is the latest hardware vendor with a security issue

Security researchers with Eclypsium, a firm created by two former Intel executives that specializes in rooting out vulnerabilities in server firmware, have uncovered vulnerabilities affecting the firmware of Supermicro servers. Fortunately, it’s not easily exploited.

The good news is these vulnerabilities can be exploited only via malicious software already running on a system. So, the challenge is to get the malicious code onto the servers in the first place. The bad news is these vulnerabilities are easily exploitable and can give malware the same effect as having physical access to this kind of system.

“A physical attacker who can open the case could simply attach a hardware programmer to bypass protections. Using the attacks we have discovered, it is possible to scale powerful malware much more effectively through malicious software instead of physical access,” Eclypsium said in a blog post announcing its findings.

What are the Supermicro vulnerabilities?

The first of the flaws is in the configuration of some Supermicro products, rather than with the firmware. The problem lies with a setting known as Descriptor Region, a feature in Intel chipsets that tells the chipset what areas of its own flash storage can accessed by third parties.