Cortana Hack Lets You Change Passwords on Locked PCs
Microsoft has patched a vulnerability in the Cortana smart assistant that could have allowed an attacker with access to a locked computer to use the smart assistant and access data on the device, execute malicious code, or even change the PC’s password to access the device in its entirety. The issue was discovered by Cedric Cochin, Cyber Security Architect and Senior Principle Engineer at McAfee. Cochin privately reported the problems he discovered to Microsoft in April.
The vulnerability is CVE-2018-8140, which Microsoft classified as an elevation of privilege, and patched yesterday during the company’s monthly Patch Tuesday security updates. Cochin says the issue was present because of different quirks in how Cortana allows users to interact with the underlying Windows 10 OS, while in a locked state. Cochin published fine-grained details about how CVE-2018-8140 affects recent versions of Windows 10, along with the below video, showing how he hijacked a PC by changing a locked account’s password using Cortana.