Valve of the popular computer gaming platform Steam is susceptible to extremely harmful zero-day vulnerabilities, experts warn.
According to new data, about 72 million Windows users at risk have their systems taken over by an attacker that can install malware, steal data, compromise passwords and more.
The vulnerability was discovered by security researcher Vasily Kravets, who discovered an escalation vulnerability that could allow an attacker with minimal user rights to gain the same level of access as a system administrator.
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The threat actor could take advantage of this by running malware using those elevated privileges, Kravets explained, saying:
“Some threats will remain even run without administrator rights. High malware rights can greatly increase the risks, programs disable antivirus, use deep and dark places to hide and modify almost any file of any user, even steal personal data.”
Steam Client Service
The vulnerability itself affects the Steam client of the service, which runs with full system rights on Windows. Kravets discovered a way to change the system registry so that the Steam service can be used to run another application, but with the same privilege level.
Unfortunately, the concept code is already being made available to security researcher Matt Nelson, and this makes this vulnerability even more serious, as would-be attackers now know how to exploit it.
Kravets reported his findings only 45 days after submitting his report on the issue to the valve. Typically, researchers wait 90 days before publicly disclosing a vulnerability, as this gives affected businesses time to fix vulnerabilities in their software.
The vulnerability was not fixed already because Kravets initially reported it using the HackerOne bounty system bug. His report was initially dismissed by HackerOne for being out of scope because the attack required “the ability to drag and drop files to arbitrary locations on the user’s file system,” according to Register. After Kravets convinced HackerOne that the vulnerability was real and serious, his report was sent to Valve and rejected again a few weeks later.
Since the concept code has already been published, it is likely that we will see this vulnerability being exploited in the wild soon.
To prevent being the victim of an attack, users are advised to follow standard security protocols, including not using pirated software, not reusing passwords for multiple sites and services using two-factor authentication, and applying the latest system updates and patches, as an attacker needs access to the system in order to use this vulnerability in the first place.
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