A critical vulnerability in the Intel chips discovered nearly a decade ago allows hackers to gain full control of Windows computers that are affected without the need for a password.
The vulnerability revealed by Intel and marked as critical last week is Intel's Active Management feature (also known as AMT), which allows administrators to remotely run computers.
AMT also allows the administrator to remotely control the keyboard and mouse of the computer, even if the computer is off.
AMT is also accessible through the browser even when the remote computer is in sleep mode. It is protected by a password defined by the administrator.
The problem is that a hacker can import a blank password and obtain full permissions on the web console, according to independent technical analyzes by two security research laboratories.
Embedi researchers, who found the error, explained one white paper published on Friday that the defect exists because the default "admin" account for the web interface can be logged in without the user passwords.
Intel has so far not mentioned how many systems are affected.
However, a search on Shodan, the search engine for open ports and databases, shows that more than 8.500 devices are vulnerable at this time, with 3.000 only in the US. But there could be thousands of other devices at risk on internal networks.
In a statement, Intel said it was working with partners to address the issue and "expects officials to make updates available from the beginning of the week on May 8."
Intel also published one tracking tool to determine if your systems are affected.