Cortana, an artificial intelligence-based smart assistant that Microsoft has built into every version of Windows 10, could enables attackers unlock your system password.
With its most recent fix Tuesday discharge, Microsoft has pushed an important update to address an easily exploitable vulnerability in Cortana that could allow hackers to break into a locked Windows 10 system and execute malicious commands with the user’s privileges.
In worst case scenario, hackers could also compromise the system completely if the user has elevated privileges on the targeted system. The elevation of privilege vulnerability, follwed as CVE-2018-8140 and announced by McAfee security researchers, resides due to Cortana’s failure to adequately check command inputs, which eventually leads to
code execution with elevated permissions.
Microsoft has grouped the flaw as “important” because exploitation of this vulnerability requires an attacker to have physical or console access to the targeted system and the targeted system also needs to have Cortana enabled.
Cedric Cochin of McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team has announced technical elements of the flaw, and also provided a well ordered step-by-step proof-of-concept video tutorial, showing how he hijacked a locked Windows 10 computer by carrying out a full password reset using Cortana.
Cochin speaks about three different attack vectors, demonstrating how the Cortana flaw could be used for various nefarious purposes, for example, retrieving confidential information, signing into a locked device and even run malicious code from the locked screen.
McAfee prescribes users to turn off Cortana on the lock screen in order to secure. Despite the fact Microsoft has patched the vulnerability with its most recent security updates released yesterday, many PCs will not be running the latest updates just yet.