Gaming peripherals: Admin loophole discovered in SteelSeries software


If the conditions are right, an attacker could exploit a vulnerability in the SteelSeriee software to obtain system rights. In this position, it could completely compromise Windows computers.

So far, the download and installation of the SteelSeries software started automatically when you plugged a mouse or keyboard from the manufacturer of the same name into a PC. In a specific section of the installation a security researcher has succeeded in obtaining system rights.

Since meanwhile a generator for creating virtual HID devices exists, an attacker would not even have to connect a mouse or keyboard to trigger the installation of the vulnerable software. The security researcher took a closer look at the HID configuration software because another researcher discovered a similar vulnerability in Razer’s Synapse software.

The vulnerability in the SteelSeries software can be found in the installation section with the license agreement. There, the security researcher was able to provide his own information to open Internet Explorer with system rights by clicking on the link to the agreement. Using the “Save As” dialog on the website, he was finally able to open the Windows command prompt with system rights.

In this way, a local attacker with restricted rights could upgrade himself to an admin and then do whatever he wants with the computer. In the meantime, SteelSeries has reacted to the security problem and, according to its own statements, deactivated the automatic start of the software installation after plugging in a mouse or keyboard. A security patch should follow soon.


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