Razer to fix Windows installer that grants admin powers if you plug in a mouse • The Register

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In brief Razer is working on an updated installer after it was discovered you can gain admin privileges on Windows by plugging in one of the gaming gear maker’s mice or keyboards.

In fact, inserting any USB device that declares itself a Razer mouse or keyboard will lead to an exploitable situation.

As documented late last week by a Twitter user called j0nh4t, if you plug into a Windows 10 or 11 machine a device identified as a Razer mouse or keyboard, Microsoft’s OS will automatically download and run Razer’s installer for the manufacturer’s Synapse software, which can be used to configure the peripheral.

During the installation process, which runs at the System level, you can spawn a Powershell terminal from an Explorer window that runs with these high-level privileges. Thus, you can gain local admin access on a machine, if you can login in somehow and plug in a gadget – useful for penetration testing, at least. It is also possible to tell the installer to use a user-controlled folder to store an executable that is run on every boot, which can be hijacked by a rogue user.

The bug finder said they had no luck in getting Razer’s attention when trying to report these flaws, and after they put a zero-day exploit for the Powershell hole on Twitter, the manufacturer got in touch and offered a vulnerability bounty. A new version of the installer to address these problems is being prepared for release, we’re told. We wonder how many Windows installers have these same weaknesses.

A spokesperson for Razer told us today: “We were made aware of a situation in which our software, in a very specific use case, provides a user with broader access to their machine during the installation process.

“We have investigated the issue, are currently making changes to the installation application to limit this use case, and will release an updated…