Vulnerabilities detected in Thunderbolt interface

To use them, you need direct access to the computer, but there are no signs of hacking

Björn Ruytenberg, a computer security researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology, talked about vulnerabilities found in computers equipped with Thunderbolt interfaces. According to him, these vulnerabilities lead to the fact that an attacker who gains physical access to the computer (just a few minutes) can steal data from the drive even if the data is encrypted and the computer is locked or in sleep mode is also like this. Safe boot or strong passwords of BIOS or OC accounts are not obstacles.

Vulnerabilities detected in Thunderbolt interface

The Thunderspy attack is invisible to the victim, that is, it leaves no signs of hacking. To implement hostile intentions, an attacker will need a screwdriver and some “portable equipment” (controller flash memory programmer).



Vulnerabilities exist in all computers with Thunderbolt. In some systems released last and current year, they are partially eliminated. The researcher offers the Spycheck utility, which allows you to check whether a particular system is vulnerable.



To prevent data theft, Ruytenberg recommends that you do not connect other peripheral devices to the computer, and do not lend the device to strangers or leave them unattended. In addition, he recommends not to power on the computer even under password protection. If you do not plan to use the Thunderbolt interface, you should completely disable the corresponding controller in the BIOS or UEFI settings, but remember that USB or DisplayPort interfaces that work through the same USB-C connector will not be available.


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