Positive Technologies employees Mark Ermolov and Dmitry Sklyarov, together with independent researcher Maxim Goryachi discovered two undocumented instructions in Intel processors. These can be used to change the microcode, allowing for attackers to take control of the processor and the entire system. According to the data that has been published, the vulnerabilities were left undocumented by the manufacturer.
Receiving access to the two vulnerabilities opens up a special mode, which is normally only available to Intel engineers. They affect processors used in netbooks, tablets, and cash registers, although potentially may be present in all current Intel processors. Experts have stated that the instructions ”allow you to bypass all the existing protection mechanisms of the x86 architecture in modern processors”. This poses a huge potential threat to Intel and their devices.