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.
2 of 9

Spectre and Meltdown
Before the haze from New Year's Eve fireworks even had a chance to dissipate, the security world was rocked by the disclosure of Spectre and Meltdown, two similar side-channel flaws in CPUs from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Affecting nearly all modern microprocessors, the vulnerabilities were found in how they carry out the functions of caching and speculative execution. The latter is particularly depended on to optimize CPU performance by predicting a command before it is even requested. These vulnerabilities can be exploited to force the operating system and applications to expose system memory data, which could include any nature of protected information, such as passwords and encryption keys.
Image Source: Adobe Stock (Production Perig)

Spectre and Meltdown

Before the haze from New Year's Eve fireworks even had a chance to dissipate, the security world was rocked by the disclosure of Spectre and Meltdown, two similar side-channel flaws in CPUs from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Affecting nearly all modern microprocessors, the vulnerabilities were found in how they carry out the functions of caching and speculative execution. The latter is particularly depended on to optimize CPU performance by predicting a command before it is even requested. These vulnerabilities can be exploited to force the operating system and applications to expose system memory data, which could include any nature of protected information, such as passwords and encryption keys.

Image Source: Adobe Stock (Production Perig)

2 of 9
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest 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.
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18954
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Pomelo v2.2.5 allows external control of critical state data. A malicious user input can corrupt arbitrary methods and attributes in template/game-server/app/servers/connector/handler/entryHandler.js because certain internal attributes can be overwritten via a conflicting name. Hence, a malicious at...
CVE-2019-3640
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Unprotected Transport of Credentials in ePO extension in McAfee Data Loss Prevention 11.x prior to 11.4.0 allows remote attackers with access to the network to collect login details to the LDAP server via the ePO extension not using a secure connection when testing LDAP connectivity.
CVE-2019-3661
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command ('SQL Injection') in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows remote authenticated attacker to execute database commands via carefully constructed time based payloads.
CVE-2019-3662
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Path Traversal: '/absolute/pathname/here' vulnerability in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows remote authenticated attacker to gain unintended access to files on the system via carefully constructed HTTP requests.
CVE-2019-3663
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
Unprotected Storage of Credentials vulnerability in McAfee Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) prior to 4.8 allows local attacker to gain access to the root password via accessing sensitive files on the system.