Researchers found new remote attack against Server firmware (BMC) that renders server unbootable by exploiting the vulnerabilities and gain the systems remote access.

This Attack Starts by pushing an update to the firmware and pass the malicious firmware image into Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) which causes servers completely unbootable and failed to recover.

A baseboard management controller (BMC) is a specialized service processor that monitors the physical state of a computer, network server or other hardware device using sensors.

 BMC also used to remotely configure the system without relying on the host operating system or applications.


Data centers or cloud has own physical servers, firmware, hardware component that has its own vulnerabilities and the tools used to manage servers can be taking advantage by attackers.

Attack Process to Corrupt the Server Firmware

In this case, Attacker can remotely compromise the system by taking advantage of firmware or hardware vulnerabilities such as exploiting Apache Struts. or using compromised credentials.

In order to bricks a server, Researchers demonstrated a  remote attack that describes to bypass a malicious firmware image to the BMC over this interface.

In order to communicate with BMC researchers from eclypsium using the
network capabilities of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) protocol and also using host-based interface known as the Keyboard Controller Style (KCS) to pass the malicious firmware image.

According to eclypsium, “malicious BMC firmware update contains additional code that, once triggered, will erase the UEFI system firmware and critical components of the BMC firmware itself. “

This change will make the host and BMC unbootable and rendering it unusable and it completely recover the system to fail.

This Attempt can be performed by a attacker remotely or physical by inserting malware and compromising the hardware of a data center.

Existing procedures and tools need to evolve to provide practical defenses from attacks like these. Research in these threats shows how to scan for vulnerabilities in subsystems like BMC, eclypsium said.

BALAJI is a Former Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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