Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

7/13/2018
01:20 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

8 Big Processor Vulnerabilities in 2018

Security researchers have been working in overdrive examining processors for issues - and they haven't come up empty-handed.
3 of 9

BranchScope

The initial announcement of Spectre and Meltdown captured the imagination of security researchers and sparked a long line of related examinations. One of the first related discoveries to bear fruit was BranchScope, which was announced in March. Discovered by researchers from the College of William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon, the University of California Riverside, and Binghamton University, this one was also discovered in the speculative execution feature. In BranchScope's case, researchers found a flaw in what is called a Branch Target Buffer within Intel processors. They showed how this feature leaks information based on previous command-execution decisions made by the processor's branch predictor.

Image Source: Adobe Stock (beebright)

3 of 9
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
tomas.honzak@gooddata.com
100%
0%
[email protected],
User Rank: Author
7/17/2018 | 3:02:32 PM
Excellent overview -- but does it end here?
Nicely summarized the evolution of the biggest hardware-level nightmare of 2018 (I hope I don't have to include "so far"...) 

After spending a good part of this year watching our infrastructure engineers and security experts trying to come up with a solid mitigation plan that would not kill our SaaS platform immediately and seeing how our response strategy had to change more than a dozen times as the new and updated kernel patches and CPU microcodes were published and recalled, and new and updated attack vectors and vulnerabilities were discovered, it became literally impossible to keep track of our overall exposure and risks.

Not to mention our enterprise customers, who tried so hard to keep track on our patching progress for the first three months of the year, after which they gave up as the development of this crisis turned into an unmanageable nightmare.

In the end, similarly to how the industry seems to be getting used to the fact that data breaches are the new reality and the overwhelming amount of new incidents does not come out as a surprise anymore, we need to accept that the complexity of today's CPUs, together with the fact that the primary focus of the manufacturers was, is and will be the performance, means that there might be many additional hw-level security flaws to be discovered over the next months and years.

To me, the takeaway is very simple: security and privacy are ongoing end to end process and rather than relying on particular technology or safeguard, we need to continue looking on risks and mitigate them on all the levels, starting by collecting just the minimal data needed - and ending by continuously improving the layered security.
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
IoT Vulnerability Disclosure Platform Launched
Dark Reading Staff 10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27673
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.9.1, as used with Xen through 4.14.x. Guest OS users can cause a denial of service (host OS hang) via a high rate of events to dom0, aka CID-e99502f76271.
CVE-2020-27674
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x allowing x86 PV guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges by modifying kernel memory contents, because invalidation of TLB entries is mishandled during use of an INVLPG-like attack technique.
CVE-2020-27675
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.9.1, as used with Xen through 4.14.x. drivers/xen/events/events_base.c allows event-channel removal during the event-handling loop (a race condition). This can cause a use-after-free or NULL pointer dereference, as demonstrated by a dom0 crash vi...
CVE-2020-3996
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
Velero (prior to 1.4.3 and 1.5.2) in some instances doesn’t properly manage volume identifiers which may result in information leakage to unauthorized users.
CVE-2020-15680
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
If a valid external protocol handler was referenced in an image tag, the resulting broken image size could be distinguished from a broken image size of a non-existent protocol handler. This allowed an attacker to successfully probe whether an external protocol handler was registered. This vulnerabil...