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Nasty new Intel processor bug

Jan_BottorffJan_Bottorff Posts: 464
I'm reading on sources like https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/ a new bug has been discovered in many Intel processors. The exact details are not public yet, but the fix is claimed to require putting user mode and kernel mode address spaces in separate processes (very bad for performance). Some mystery uncommented Linux kernel patches are public, and the article says the problem impacts all OSs. Assuming this is real, it sounds like it may have a large impact on folks working in kernel land.

Jan

Comments

  • The vulnerability is likely very nasty because the patch will cause a huge performance reduction, and this is going to cost a lot of money for companies. I don't think Intel will get off lightly for whatever this is about however the CEO sold over 200,000 shares in December, and he's sticking to the minimum he is legally enforced to keep as the CEO.

    Likely a dangerous privilege escalation exploit. Some rumours claim it can allow an attacker to escape virtualisation, which wouldn't be illogical considering such technology like Intel VT-x is enforced from the processor. And the issue doesn't affect AMD apparently, and they have their own AMD SVM for virtualisation technology.
  • Don_Burn-2Don_Burn-2 Posts: 1,620
    Intel is famous for these (though most are kept quiet by contract). Back
    when the 486 came out if there was a bug if you were running in 32-bit and
    took one of a number of exceptions, the processor would freeze, overheat and
    literally fly apart. Most vendors refused to ship that version, though a
    firm in England called Apricot Computer did, the company went under when the
    bug burned down a major medical records company. Of course Intel got off
    without any impact.





    Don Burn

    Windows Driver Consulting

    Website: http://www.windrvr.com







    From: xxxxx@lists.osr.com
    [mailto:xxxxx@lists.osr.com] On Behalf Of
    xxxxx@pmatrix.com
    Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 11:49 AM
    To: Windows System Software Devs Interest List
    Subject: [ntdev] Nasty new Intel processor bug



    I'm reading on sources like
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/ a new bug
    has been discovered in many Intel processors. The exact details are not
    public yet, but the fix is claimed to require putting user mode and kernel
    mode address spaces in separate processes (very bad for performance). Some
    mystery uncommented Linux kernel patches are public, and the article says
    the problem impacts all OSs. Assuming this is real, it sounds like it may
    have a large impact on folks working in kernel land.



    Jan


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