Vulnerability found and fixed in HP bloatware


Symbol: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

HP Touchpoint Analytics, an utility that comes preinstalled on HP techniques, incorporates a safety flaw that might let malware acquire admin rights and take over inclined techniques.

The protection flaw used to be came upon over the summer season via safety researchers from SafeBreach Labs.

HP has launched updates this month to deal with the problem.

HP desktop and pc homeowners are suggested to apply directions detailed within the HP safety advisory and replace the HP Touchpoint Analytics shopper at their earliest comfort.

Vulnerability main points

The HP Touchpoint Analytics app is what customers generally name “bloatware,” one of those tool that comes pre-installed on new units.

The app’s objective is to assemble diagnostics information about hardware efficiency and ship the guidelines again to HP.

As such, the app typically whitelisted and runs with admin rights on HP techniques — with the intention to get entry to quite a lot of main points from tool drivers and different hardware parts.

However in a document shared with ZDNet this week, Peleg Hadar, a safety researcher with SafeBreach Labs, mentioned he discovered a method to hijack the appliance’s commonplace mode of operation and cargo malicious DLL recordsdata to run rogue code with increased privileges.

Hadar discovered what safety mavens name a neighborhood privilege escalation (LPE), one of those vulnerability that is moderately commonplace in trendy tool.

The vulnerability would possibly not permit hackers to take over a machine from a far off location, however it’ll permit native apps or malware to funnel malicious instructions via its code and execute the ones operations with complete admin rights.

Whilst maximum LPE vulnerabilities are low chance, this one’s severity is amplified via the app’s large install-base — being discovered on masses of thousands and thousands of HP desktops and laptops.

This makes this vulnerability sexy to malware gangs, who will see an actual receive advantages to realize via together with it into their long run exploit chains.

Debatable app

As ZDNet sister-site TechRepublic identified in its protection, the disclosure of a safety flaw within the HP Touchpoint Analytics app won’t move down neatly with HP customers.

Up to now, customers have complained concerning the app being not anything greater than adware disguised as an analytics app, and concerning the app slowing down techniques on which it used to be put in [1, 2].

Around the years, HP denied this type of rumors and mentioned that customers have been unfastened to uninstall the app at any time they needed [1, 2].

The HP Touchpoint Analytics vulnerability is the second one safety flaw that Hadar came upon this 12 months in a seller’s bloatware. He in the past discovered one who impacted the SupportAssist app that comes pre-installed on Dell techniques.

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