Discovered and identified last year as CVE-2019-0090, a bug in Intel’s Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME) could grant attackers access to the Chipset Key, which is the root cryptographic key that can be used to access everything on a device. The CSME is used by Intel-based computers to cryptographically verify and authenticate all firmware loaded on the machine.
When this bug was originally discovered and “patched,” it was determined that this could only be exploited with physical access to a system. However, researchers at Positive Technologies have discovered that the CSME firmware is left unprotected during the early booting, allowing the Chipset Key to be extracted via various methods. Malware with SYSTEM and BIOS-level code execution access can actually exploit this bug, even without physical access to the computer. This increases the possibility that this vulnerability will be exploited by remote attackers.