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PixieFail UEFI Flaws Expose Millions of Computers to RCE, DoS, and Data Theft


Multiple security vulnerabilities have been disclosed in the TCP/IP network protocol stack of an open-source reference implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification used widely in modern computers.

Collectively dubbed PixieFail by Quarkslab, the nine issues reside in the TianoCore EFI Development Kit II (EDK II) and could be exploited to achieve remote code execution, denial-of-service (DoS), DNS cache poisoning, and leakage of sensitive information.

UEFI firmware – which is responsible for booting the operating system – from AMI, Intel, Insyde, and Phoenix Technologies are impacted by the shortcomings.

EDK II incorporates its own TCP/IP stack called NetworkPkg to enable network functionalities available during the initial Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE, pronounced "pixie") stage, which allows for management tasks in the absence of a running operating system.

In other words, it is a client-server interface to boot a device from its network interface card (NIC) and allows networked computers that are not yet loaded with an operating system to be configured and booted remotely by an administrator.


This CERT article lists firmware known to be vulnerable along with recommended mitigations: https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/132380

Edited by itman
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