Critical ‘LogoFAIL’ Bugs Offer Secure Boot Bypass for Millions of PCs

Critical 'LogoFAIL' Bugs Offer Secure Boot Bypass for Millions of PCs

December 1, 2023 at 04:01PM

“LogoFAIL” exposes critical vulnerabilities in the PC’s UEFI ecosystem, impacting most devices worldwide, including those from top manufacturers. The flaw affects image-parsing during boot-up, enabling attackers to bypass security like Secure Boot. Binarly Research found that compromised images in the boot process could allow persistent malicious control. Vendor patches are expected on December 6, 2023. Users are advised to apply firmware updates and vet device suppliers for security.

Meeting Takeaways:

1. **Critical Vulnerabilities Discovered**: Researchers have identified a set of critical vulnerabilities named “LogoFAIL” in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) ecosystem affecting PCs.

2. **System Control at Risk**: Exploitation allows attackers to gain deep control over the system by nullifying security measures.

3. **Wide Impact**: LogoFAIL impacts all major device manufacturers and both x86 and ARM-based devices, according to the upcoming Binarly research report.

4. **Exploitation Mechanism**: Attackers can execute malicious code during the boot-up by embedding compromised images within the EFI System Partition (ESP) or in unsigned firmware update sections, which bypasses Secure Boot and Intel Boot Guard.

5. **Vulnerability Origins**: Flaws originate from image-parsing libraries in the boot process that are utilized across the industry.

6. **Disclosure and Patches**: The vulnerabilities were reported through the CERT/CC VINCE system, with patches scheduled for release on December 6, coinciding with a presentation at Black Hat Europe.

7. **Previous Precedents**: This is not the first Secure Boot bypass discovered, with instances like the flaws in Acer laptops and BlackLotus or BootHole highlighting prior vulnerabilities.

8. **Subtlety of Attack**: LogoFAIL is a data-only attack that is challenging to detect because it doesn’t alter the firmware but instead delivers malicious input during the boot process.

9. **Extent of Vulnerability**: The majority of devices using firmware from major independent BIOS vendors (Insyde, AMI, Phoenix) are at risk, affecting an estimated 95% of the BIOS ecosystem.

10. **Security Alerts**: Phoenix Technologies and other vendors have acknowledged and provided security notifications or advisories regarding the vulnerabilities.

11. **Mitigation Steps**: Users should monitor and promptly apply firmware updates from manufacturers and maintain a critical evaluation of device vendors’ security practices.

12. **Industry Collaboration**: The research company is actively working with device vendors to coordinate disclosure and mitigation strategies.

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