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Dell Laptops and Desktops Vulnerable to Remote Attack

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If you own a Dell laptop or desktop then there’s a very good chance your machine is vulnerable to attack simply by visiting a malicious website. The good news is, Dell has released a patch to close the security hole.

As ZDNet reports, 17-year-old security researcher Bill Demirkapi discovered a vulnerability (CVE-2019-3719) in the Dell SupportAssist utility which allows an attacker to remote execute code. This is achieved by getting a user to visit a specific website containing JavaScript code capable of tricking the SupportAssist app into downloading and running malicious files (with full admin rights). Importantly, no user interaction is required once the website has been visited and the JavaScript can be hidden inside an ad on a legitimate website.

Here’s the remote code execution in action as recorded by Demirkapi:

Dell uses SupportAssist to pro-actively check the health of your hardware and software and then automatically updates each system as necessary. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s a piece of software that gets pre-installed on most new Dell systems, meaning there’s a lot of users out there potentially vulnerable to this attack.

Dell has known about the vulnerability since Oct. 26 last year and a patched version of SupportAssist (v3.2.0.90) is now available which closes the security hole. If you own a Dell which has SupportAssist installed, download and install the new version as soon as possible to protect your system.

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