Razer Gaming Laptops Have A Critical Security Issue

Razer has made a big name for itself in the gaming peripheral business thanks to their impressive range of high-end peripherals. The company has also expanded into the laptop market with their sleek Blade. However, if you already own a Razer laptop, you might want to brace yourself.

As revealed by security researcher Bailey Fox last month, Razer laptops have a vulnerability known as CVE-2018-4251, which allows hackers to downgrade the BIOS to exploit older flaws like Meltdown, amongst other things. It relates directly to the Intel Manufacturing Mode, a testing suite for Intel-based motherboards that is supposed to be disabled before the device is shipped to consumers.

While this issue does not let the hackers take control of a system by itself, once they do get in, it makes their job much easier. The hackers could then damage the system in a variety of ways, for instance, by changing system settings and hiding malware so that it doesn’t get detected by your antivirus software.

Razer has admitted to this as well, saying that several of their laptops have this flaw, including the Razer Blade 15 (2018), the Razer Blade Advanced (2018 and 2019) and the 2018 Razer Blade 13. All these devices have shipped with Manufacturing Mode enabled, but Razer says that it has fixed the problem on their end and future orders will not ship like this. For people who already have the affected laptops, Razer has a firmware update that disables the Manufacturing Mode.

Interestingly, this is similar to the flaw detected in the past in Apple devices, which let hackers mess around with firmware on Mac devices which had Intel Manufacturing Mode enabled. Fortunately, Apple was able to detect the issue on its own and patch it with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4.

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