Millions of servers running on Windows and Linux operating systems are reported to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. And this was concluded in a research carried out by researchers from Eclypsium- a company offering Enterprise Firmware Security.
Going deep into the facts, the security researchers have discovered that the vulnerability is being created due to unsigned firmware seen in WiFi Adapters, USB Hubs, Trackpads and cameras used in servers and workstations operating worldwide. This includes those systems supplied by noted companies such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Huawei.
To prove their findings the researchers launched a successful cyber attack on a server through a network interface card that was running on an unsigned firmware. And to their surprise, they found that once infected the network cards linked to the servers of some noted manufacturers were acting as per the control commands directed by hackers.
It is a noted fact that many PC manufacturers do not follow a practice of adopting peripherals from manufacturers who use signed firmware. And this is where millions of Windows and Linux PCs are said to be getting exposed to cyber attacks such as data exfiltration, disruption in operations and getting exposed to malware inductions such as ransomware.
Disadvantages of using components without a signed firmware in devices
- Hackers can deliver malware through an email or a malicious website, to those devices which use unsigned firmware. As it allows a hacker to write malicious code to defenseless components.
- If the device runs on a component that uses an unsigned firmware, then the component can run the command without any admin authentication which can further deteriorate the attack repercussions.
Therefore all these days there has been a regular practice of focusing only on vital components when it comes to securing PCs from cyber attacks.
Perhaps its high time that organizations, especially device manufacturers start adding firmware to their vulnerability management and cyber threat prevention posture in response to the increasing number of cyber threats.
More details on the components used by different PC manufacturers that are exposed to the said vulnerability are available on the official website of Eclypsium.