Researchers have uncovered a fun new vulnerability in Intel processors, and this one has a claim attached that it's not possible to fix it.Sound familiar? Yeah, there's been a lot of problems over at Intel in the last couple years. We reported on some back in January and it seems it's not getting any better.
This issue, found and reported by Positive Technologies, mentions CVE-2019-0090 which as the numbered year suggests was already announced last year. However, the plot thickens. If you have an Intel chipset and/or SoC older than the 10th Generation (so anything in the last few years), you will be affected by this.
Not something you can get a firmware update or an operating system patch to help with either, since it concerns the Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME). As written by the folks over at Positive Technologies:
We will provide more technical details in a full-length white paper to be published soon. We should point out that when our specialists contacted Intel PSIRT to report the vulnerability, Intel said the company was already aware of it (CVE-2019-0090). Intel understands they cannot fix the vulnerability in the ROM of existing hardware. So they are trying to block all possible exploitation vectors. The patch for CVE-2019-0090 addresses only one potential attack vector, involving the Integrated Sensors Hub (ISH). We think there might be many ways to exploit this vulnerability in ROM. Some of them might require local access; others need physical access.
As you can see, it's not going to be the most practical for people to break into so you don't need to go and wildly panic right this second, since they would need some sort of physical and local access but it's still a damning look for Intel's processor security. To have something so severe that can only be fixed by replacing the entire hardware—ouch.
Do you currently have an Intel CPU and are you considering switching to AMD? Let us know in the comments. AMD aren't entirely secure themselves though, multiple past issues have also affected them.