It has been reported that fresh firmware vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi adapters, USB hubs, trackpads and cameras are putting millions of peripheral devices in danger of a range of cyberattacks, according to research from Eclypsium. TouchPad and TrackPoint firmware in Lenovo Laptops, HP Wide Vision FHD camera firmware in HP laptops and the Wi-Fi adapter on Dell XPS laptops were all found to lack secure firmware update mechanisms with proper code-signing.
Commenting on this, Tim Mackey, senior principal consultant at the Synopsys CyRC (Cybersecurity Research Centre), said “With supply chain cyber attacks on the rise in 2019, this research should serve as notice to software publishers that they are a critical component of the digital supply chain – regardless of what type of software they provide. In the case of insecure update mechanisms, or lack of cryptographically secure validation mechanisms for their software, they open the door for malicious attacks. This is due to the reality that most end users are not equipped to validate the legitimacy of the software they use and rely on the software delivery process to perform all validation. Importantly, when they can’t locate what they believe to be a solution for their issues from the vendor, they’ll download a potential solution from the internet with the potential result of a malware infection. Since device firmware executes on a computer before the operating system starts, the protections present from anti-malware solutions are rendered ineffective due to the ability of malicious firmware to behave in ways that allows anti-malware to believe there is nothing wrong with the computer system.