64-bit OSs, virtualization software on Intel chips vulnerable to hacks

By | June 15, 2012

Source: Computerworld

by Lucian Constantin

In this article “Some 64-bit operating systems and virtualization software programs are vulnerable to local privilege escalation attacks when running on Intel processors (CPUs), the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) said in a security advisory on Wednesday.

The vulnerability is identified as CVE-2012-0217 and stems from the way Intel CPUs have implemented the SYSRET instruction in their x86-64 extension, known as Intel 64.

Attackers could exploit the vulnerability to force Intel CPUs to return a general protection fault in privileged mode. This would allow them to execute code with kernel privileges from a least-privileged account, or to escape from a virtual machine and gain control of the host operating system.”

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