Spoiler alert! Don't have a Meltdown but Spectre isn't the only spooky thing about Intel chips
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2019 - 06:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: spoiler, spectre, security, meltdown, Intel
A spokesperson from Intel reached out to provide a statement for us.
“Intel received notice of this research, and we expect that software can be protected against such issues by employing side channel safe software development practices. This includes avoiding control flows that are dependent on the data of interest. We likewise expect that DRAM modules mitigated against Rowhammer style attacks remain protected. Protecting our customers and their data continues to be a critical priority for us and we appreciate the efforts of the security community for their ongoing research.”
This is good news as the original report suggested a sofware mitigation might not be possible.
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If Tim's post earlier today was bright spot on an otherwise dismal day, then get ready for the clouds to roll back in. The performance drop experience from protecting yourself against Spectre and it's variants may have been mitigated to a point, however researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, and the University of Lubeck have discovered Intel chips are still vulnerable to a newly discovered vulnerability dubbed Spoiler.
Like the previous vulnerabilities it exploits speculative execution however unlike Spectre, Meltdown and their variants, it attacks via the Memory Order Buffer, using the timing behaviour it exposes. If there is one bit of good news in this discovery, it is that only Intel processors are affected and not AMD nor ARM.
"Like the Spectre and Meltdown attacks revealed in January 2018, Spoiler also abuses speculative execution in Intel chips to leak secrets. However, it targets a different area of the processor called the Memory Order Buffer, which is used to manage memory operations and is tightly coupled with the cache."
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