Lenovo patches two high severity flaws in PC support tool

The flaws could allow attackers to execute malicious code with system privileges and to kill other processes

Lenovo has fixed two high-severity vulnerabilities in the Lenovo Solution Center support tool that is preinstalled on many laptop and desktop PCs. The flaws could allow attackers to take over computers and terminate antivirus processes.

Lenovo Solution Center (LSC) allows users to check their system's virus and firewall status, update their Lenovo software, perform backups, check battery health, get registration and warranty information and run hardware tests.

The two new vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2016-5249 and CVE-2016-5248 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database, were found by security researchers from Trustwave. They affect LSC versions 3.3.002 and earlier.

The CVE-2016-5249 vulnerability allows an attacker who already has control of a limited account on a PC to execute malicious code via the privileged LocalSystem account.

Privilege escalation flaws like this one cannot be used by themselves to compromise computers, but are often used in exploit chains. Due to security improvements in modern operating systems, remote code execution flaws don't always provide attackers with full control over affected systems and need to be combined with privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

Because of the functionality in the LSC.Services.SystemService component, any local user can open a communication pipe to the service and force it to execute arbitrary .NET code. Because this LSC service runs under the LocalSystem account, the rogue code would also be executed with LocalSystem privileges.

The second vulnerability, CVE-2016-5248, allows any local user to send a command to LSC.Services.SystemService in order to kill any other process on the system, privileged or not. The target process could, for example, belong to an antivirus program or another security product.

Lenovo advises users to upgrade to LSC version 3.3.003. This can be done from the application itself by agreeing to automatic update prompt, from the separate Lenovo System Update utility or by downloading the latest version of LSC manually.

This is not the first time that serious flaws were found in LSC. However, Lenovo seems to be responding to such vulnerabilities in a timely manner by releasing patches and publishing security advisories. In a recent security analysis of the update tools preloaded on computers PC manufacturers, LSC was found to have one of the most secure implementations.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?