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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
SSB: Yet another security hole due to speculative execution
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1734

PostPosted: Tue 22 May 2018, 17:32    Post subject:  SSB: Yet another security hole due to speculative execution
Subject description: also added another vulnerability without speculative execution
 

Just when you thought you might be able to trust the hardware you are running, after patching for Meltdown, Specter and variants, there is a new exploit named SSB that finds timing differences caused by storing results of speculative execution.

The problem comes from fetching things before you can be sure of the address. If the predicted address is wrong, the natural fix is to dump the fetched data as invalid. Unfortunately, this still means you can get data from addresses that should be forbidden to a process into a register available to the microarchitecture, but not in the idealized machine model. Once there the difference in the time required for operations allows data to leak to processes that should never have had it. If you didn't have cores performing billions of instructions per second I don't think this would be very practical, because of the low bandwidth channel it offers into other processes.

Only a determined paranoid would have guessed this one.

Last edited by prehistoric on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 10:47; edited 1 time in total
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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 1630
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Sun 27 May 2018, 15:20    Post subject:  

This is evidently a serious "inter-cache" problem. kernnel dot org as of May 25 updates is patching some flaws related. As usual this will be on-going. As I read it, it appears that a single cache split between data and info is also affected. Some Intel MPU/CPU have this split-cache, including a few ATOMS (the E600 series).

Regards
8Geee

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ozsouth

Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 346
Location: S.E Australia

PostPosted: Wed 30 May 2018, 07:58    Post subject:  

From http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/21/spectre_meltdown_v4_microsoft_google/

According to Intel, mitigations already released to the public for variant 1, which is the hardest vulnerability to tackle, should make attacks leveraging variant 4 much more difficult. In other words, web browsers, and similar programs with just-in-time execution of scripts and other languages, patched to thwart variant 1 attacks should also derail variant 4 exploits.
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backi

Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 1519
Location: GERMANY

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun 2018, 11:15    Post subject:
Subject description: Bodhi Linux shut down Distribution`s Forum due GDPR
 

Hi !
Bodhi Linux shut down Distribution`s Forum due GDPR :
https://www.bodhilinux.com/2018/06/03/forums-closed-due-to-gdpr/
https://www.eugdpr.org/

See also Distrowatch :
https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20180604#news

I am no Expert ....what are the Consequences ......could PuppyLinux Forum also be affected ?
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun 2018, 03:06    Post subject:  

Since it is a security risk OpenBSD have opted to disable Intel's hyperthreading by default https://www.mail-archive.com/source-changes@openbsd.org/msg99141.html and opine that generally the performance hit can be low, if any ...
Quote:
Note that SMT doesn't necessarily have a positive effect on performance;
it highly depends on the workload. In all likelihood it will actually slow down most workloads if you have a CPU with more than two cores.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1734

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun 2018, 10:43    Post subject: cache vulnerability without speculative execution  

We have several different topics in this thread, like the GDPR, which belong in separate topics.

What I'm adding to this is a mention of a new vulnerability in Intel processors due to caches used to implement hyperthreading. It does not depend on speculative execution, but it does use a timing side channel. Modern Intel processors have two complete sets of registers in the microarchitecture to hold state for rapid context switches. This exploit allows information to leak from one to the other.

At this point it does not seem to apply to AMD processors and their hypertransport which is a very different machine model from hyperthreading that does not give programmers the appearance of multiple processors. Only the "hyper" prefix seems to connect these architectures.

So far it appears that the OS would have to be infected with malware to make this possible. Once this happens malware could grab cryptographic keys used for things like HTTPS. Disabling hyperthreading will defeat this.
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