The latest security patches from NVIDIA, the maker of high-end graphics cards, are out.
Both Windows and Linux are affected.
NVIDIA hasn’t yet given out any real details about the bugs, but 12 different CVE-tagged flaws have been fixed, numbered sequentially from CVE-2020-5962 to CVE-2020-5973.
As far as we can tell, none of the bugs can be triggered remotely, so they don’t count as RCEs, or remote code execution holes, by means of which crooks could directly hack into your laptop or server over the internet.
However, as is very common with security bugs in kernel-land, they could let crooks carry out what’s known as information disclosure or elevation of privilege attacks.
Given that the kernel contains information about the entire system, including details such as which processes are allowed to access what memory locations, being able to fiddle around inside the kernel is usually a privilege reserved for top-level sysadmins only.
Kernel bugs that allow regular users to peek into the kernel’s protected memory areas are therefore dangerous because they can often be exploited by criminals to grant themselves permanent administrator powers without needing to know any administrator passwords.