Weekly threat roundup: Nvidia, BitLocker, and HackerOne

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Patch management is far easier a process said than done, and security teams may often be forced into prioritising fixes for several business-critical systems, all released at once. It’s become typical, for example, to expect dozens of patches to be released on Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday, with other vendors also routinely getting in on the act.

Below, IT Pro has collated the most pressing disclosures from the last seven days, including details such as a summary of the exploit mechanism, and whether the vulnerability is being exploited in the wild. This is in order to give teams a sense of which bugs and flaws might pose the most dangerous immediate security risks.

Nvidia GPU display driver vulnerabilities

Patches released for the Nvidia GPU display driver have addressed vulnerabilities that, if exploited, may have lead to denial of service, code execution, escalation of privileges or information disclosure.

The flaws, numbering 11 in total, were present in the GeForce, Quadro, NVS and Tesla graphics card drivers, as well as in the firm’s vGPU software used in virtual machines. These have been tagged from CVE‑2020‑5979 to CVE‑2020‑5989, and range in severity from a CVSS base score of 4.4 to 8.8.

The most serious flaw lies in the vGPU plugin and host driver kernel module of the Nvidia Virtual GPU Manager. Specifically, it presents the potential to write to a memory location outside the intended boundary of the frame buffer memory allocated to guest operating systems. It could lead to a denial of service or information disclosure.

While the majority of patches are available now, updated drivers for Nvidia GeForce cards won’t be available until 5 October.

BitLocker ‘sleep mode’ bypass

A BitLocker flaw can be exploited to break the full disk encryption technology that comes packaged with Windows 10 devices, according to the Daily Swig.

An update to the BitLeaker tool built for Windows 10 can exploit a vulnerability, tagged CVE-2020-0526, in a device’s sleeping state to bypass full-disk encryption, as outlined by researcher Seunghun Han, at the Black Hat Asia event.

This flaw is embedded in the firmware-based Trusted Platform Module (fTPM) – specifically in the Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT) – on certain motherboards.

The bug was also found to lead to privilege escalation, should hackers successfully exploit it, although all components barring one, the ASUS Q170M-C motherboard, have been patched.

HackerOne prototype pollution flaw

A ‘prototype pollution’ vulnerability in a JavaScript library used by bug bounty platform HackerOne could have allowed hackers to stage phishing attacks.

This type of flaw, which is normally found in prototype-based languages like JavaScript, can allow cyber criminals to manipulate the behaviour of an application by modifying its code while it’s running.

Discovered by developer William Bowling, the vulnerability could have allowed an attacker to inject malicious HTML and JavaScript code into the HackerOne website. He was searching for cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws when he found it.

Authentication bypass flaws in router chipsets

Chipsets found in multiple routers – manufactured by Mediatek, Qualcomm (Atheros) and Realtek – contain a partial authentication bypass flaw that could allow an attacker to send malicious packets through protected networks.


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Tagged as CVE-2019-18989, CVE-2019-18990, and CVE-2019-18991, the flaws were first discovered by Synopsys last year and disclosed to both the chipset and router manufacturers, which included Zyxel, Netgear and D-Link, among others. By injecting malicious packets into vulnerable networks, hackers are able to target active systems.

Mediatek and Realtek have said that patches will be made available upon request, while Qualcomm (Atheros) has said the identified chipsets have all reached end-of-life and have therefore been discontinued.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.