Security Alert: YubiKey Users Must Update Software

Yubico, the developer of the widely-used YubiKey authentication devices, has alerted Windows users to a significant vulnerability in its software. According to the company’s official statement, this vulnerability could lead to elevated privileges on a user’s computer.

The issue pertains to the YubiKey Manager application and is identified under the identifier CVE-2024-31498. It has been assessed with a CVSS score of 7.7, indicating a relatively high level of risk.


The vulnerability manifests when a user operates the YubiKey Manager’s graphical interface with administrative rights. Consequently, any browser windows opened by the program also inherit these privileges, which could be exploited by an attacker to perform actions as an administrator, significantly increasing the potential for malicious activities.

This issue affects only Windows users who do not use Microsoft Edge as their default browser. Yubico has noted that the vulnerability relates to Windows OS requirements for administrator rights to interact with FIDO authenticators, including YubiKey.

To verify their version of YubiKey Manager, users can access the “About” menu within the application itself. Those running versions before 1.2.6 are advised to promptly update their software. The latest version with the implemented fix is available on Yubico’s website and GitHub.

Additionally, Yubico recommends that users avoid running YubiKey Manager with administrative rights unless necessary for utilizing FIDO features. This precaution can help mitigate the risk of privilege escalation when using the software.

An interim workaround is to set Microsoft Edge as the default browser, which may help prevent the inheritance of administrative privileges that occurs with third-party browsers. Nevertheless, the company emphasizes that the optimal solution remains to update the software to a secure version.

This security incident marks the second such occurrence for Yubico in the past three years. Detecting and promptly addressing such vulnerabilities is crucial in protecting users’ data from potential attacks.