Intel Quartus Family - Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

Type vulnerlab
Reporter S.AbenMassaoud [] -
Modified 2018-10-25T00:00:00


                                            Document Title:
Intel Quartus Family - Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

References (Source):


Intel ID: INTEL-SA-00151


Release Date:

Vulnerability Laboratory ID (VL-ID):

Common Vulnerability Scoring System:

Vulnerability Class:
Privilege Escalation

Current Estimated Price:
4.000€ - 5.000€

Abstract Advisory Information:
The vulnerability laboratory core research team discovered a local privilege escalation vulnerability in the official Intel Quartus Family of Tools software product.

Vulnerability Disclosure Timeline:
2018-10-25: Public Disclosure (Vulnerability Laboratory)

Discovery Status:

Affected Product(s):
Product: Intel Quartus Family of Tools - Quartus II, Quartus Prime, Intel Quartus II & Pr 11.0 – 15.0, 15.1, 11.0 – 15.0 & 15.1 – 18.0

Exploitation Technique:

Severity Level:

Authentication Type:
Restricted authentication (user/moderator) - User privileges

User Interaction:
No User Interaction

Disclosure Type:
Bug Bounty Program

Technical Details & Description:
A local privilege escalation vulnerability has been discovered in the official Intel Quartus Family of Tools software product.
The software vulnerability allows a local attacker to unauthorized gain higher access privileges to compromise the system.

Unquoted service paths in intel quartus family of tools affects the intel quartus 2 in version 11 - 15.0 and intel quartus prime in versions 15.1 - 18.0.
The issue allows a local attacker to potentially execute arbitrary code to compromise the affected computer system. The same issue also affects the full 
tool product series. The vulnerability can be exploited by local attackers with restricted privileges and does not require user interaction. The Joint Test 
Action Group (JTAG) server is as well vulnerable to replacement of required executables, which on reboot may be run with elevated privileges.

The security risk of the privilege escalation vulnerability is estimated as high with a cvss (common vulnerability scoring system) count of 7.8. 
The exploitation of the local privilege escalation vulnerability requires no user inter action and a restricted privileged system user account.
Successful exploitation of the local vulnerability results in privilege escalation followed by a compromise of the local computer system.

Solution - Fix & Patch:
The vulnerability can be resolved by usage of the available updates for the affected products on the intel service page.

1. If the Intel® Quartus® Prime software has already been installed to a path with spaces, 
remedy this vulnerability by downloading and installing the patch intel_sa00151_patch.exe, 
then running the script that is extracted from the patch

2. If the Intel® Quartus® Prime software version 18.0 and earlier has not yet been installed, 
ensure that the installation path does not contain spaces

3. Install the Intel® Quartus® Prime software version 18.0 Update 1 or later where the vulnerability has been fixed

Security Risk:
The security risk of the local privilege escalation vulnerability in the intel software product series is estimated as high.

Credits & Authors:
S.AbenMassaoud [] -

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