AMD and Intel’s new BIOS update saves you from dangerous hack

Another one bites the dust.

Protect your PC at all costs by downloading a new BIOS update.
Image by Bruno from Pixabay.

After four months, both AMD and Intel have released BIOS updates to protect you from a known hack. Identified in December 2023, LogoFAIL is an exploit that lets attackers hijack your boot screen to gain control of your PC. Fortunately, motherboard manufacturers have issued mitigations to fully patch the vulnerability.

Team Red updated its AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) with firmware version 1.2.0.b and 1.2.0.c. Meanwhile, Intel published patch version on its Management Engine (ME). Individual brands such as Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and ASRock are currently rolling it out in stages across different platforms.

You can rest easy if you don’t initially see support for your motherboard. It’s coming slowly but surely. Currently, the patch is available for Gigabyte B550 and Aorus Elite V2 motherboards. X670 chipsets, on the other hand, will take a bit longer.

It’s unusual to see a security flaw like LogoFAIL since it doesn’t discriminate between brands. Usually, it’s just AMD Ryzen users needing a BIOS update or Intel Core fans. Researchers at Binarly discovered the cross-platform hack late last year, revealing it affects x86 and ARM devices. Digging for the root cause, they found that it all harkens back to the little logo you see when you boot and your ability to change it.

“We found that certain vendors such as Lenovo, Intel and Acer allow users – and so attackers – to customise the logo shown during boot,” Binarly explains. “It could be simply done via placing it into ESP (EFI System Partition) and adding or modifying certain variables in NVRAM, then rebooting the system. Administrator privileges are enough to perform this. In this case, hardware-based Verified Boot security features such as Intel Boot Guard or AMD Hardware-Validated Boot won’t protect against it since the logo is read outside the range covered by these.”

It goes without saying that you should update your BIOS as soon as you can. No matter whether you have a custom PC, an OEM pre-built, or a laptop, it’s a matter of priority. I can’t help but wonder what this means for Steam Decks and Valve’s amazing custom boot intros.