Baring the system: New vulnerabilities in SMM of Coreboot and UEFI based systems
By: Yuriy Bulygin, Oleksandr Bazhaniuk
Previously, we discovered a number of vulnerabilities in UEFI based firmware including software vulnerabilities in SMI handlers that could lead to SMM code execution, attacks on hypervisors like Xen, Hyper-V and bypassing modern security protections in Windows 10 such as Virtual Secure Mode with Credential and Device Guard. These issues led to changes in the way OS communicates with SMM on UEFI based systems and new Windows SMM Security Mitigations ACPI Table (WSMT). This research describes an entirely new class of vulnerabilities affecting SMI handlers on systems with Coreboot and UEFI based firmware. These issues are caused by incorrect trust assumptions between the firmware and underlying hardware which makes them applicable to any type of system firmware. We will describe impact and various mitigation techniques. We will also release a module for open source CHIPSEC framework to automatically detect this type of issues on a running system.