Intel’s Patch Tuesday releases are rarely so salient as those pushed out this month: the semiconductor chip manufacturer has patched a slew of high-profile vulnerabilities in their chips and drivers.
TPM-FAIL is a name given to vulnerabilities found in some Intel’s firmware-based TPM (fTPM) and STMicroelectronics’ TPM chipsets, discovered by Ahmad “Daniel” Moghimi and Berk Sunar from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Thomas Eisenbarth from University of Lübeck and Nadia Heninger from University of California at San Diego.
TPM-FAIL flaws could allow attackers to recover long-term private keys used to generate Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) signatures and use them to forge digital signatures.
The researchers say that attacks against these vulnerabilities are practical.
“A local adversary can recover the ECDSA key from Intel fTPM in 4-20 minutes depending on the access level. We even show that these attacks can be performed remotely on fast networks, by recovering the authentication key of a VPN server in 5 hours,” they explained.
It’s hard to estimate how many vulnerable chips are in use.
“Desktop, laptop and server workstations manufactured by various vendors such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc. may use one of these affected TPM products,” the researchers noted, and advised users to ask their OEM or consult an expert to see if their systems are affected by TPM-F ..