Intel disclosed two high-severity vulnerabilities that affect the BIOS firmware in several processor families, both vulnerabilities have received a CVSS v3 score of 8.2. The vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2021-0157 and CVE-2021-0158, were discovered by researchers at Sentinel One and can be exploited by an attacker with physical access to the device to elevate privileges.

CVE-2021-0157 is due to insufficient control flow management in the BIOS firmware for some Intel(R) Processors and may allow a privileged user to potentially escalate privileged via local access.

CVE-2021-0158 is an improper input validation in the BIOS firmware for some Intel(R) Processors and may allow a privileged user to potentially escalate privileged via local access.

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The chipmaker did not share technical details about the vulnerabilities.

Below is the list of affected products:

  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v6 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor W Family
  • 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors
  • 11th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • 7th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Intel® Core™ X-series Processors
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor N Series
  • Intel® Pentium® Silver Processor Series

Intel recommends users of impacted processors to update to the latest version. Experts warn of the impact of these vulnerabilities because vendors of motherboards do not support BIOS updating process for long. This means that users will be not able to address the flaw. In order to mitigate the risk of exploitation for both issue it is important to protect the access to BIOS settings with strong passwords.