Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Intel Memory Leak

with 2 comments

Happy Hump Day.

And holy floating point processor, Batman, The Register is reporting that there’s a “fundamental design flaw” in Intel’s processor chips that has forced “a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.”

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel’s virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December. Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we’re looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features – such as PCID – to reduce the performance hit. Your mileage may vary.
– via www.theregister.co.uk

Triple check your math, boys and girls.

And the fix?

is to separate the kernel’s memory completely from user processes using what’s called Kernel Page Table Isolation, or KPTI
– via www.theregister.co.uk

And the security implications?

At best, the vulnerability could be leveraged by malware and hackers to more easily exploit other security bugs. At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel’s memory.
– via www.theregister.co.uk

Anybody check to see whether AMD stock has gone on a tear overnight??!

Written by turbotodd

January 3, 2018 at 10:41 am

Posted in 2018, intel, microprocessors

2 Responses

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  1. This may kill sizing in virtual enviroments.

    Hope all is well Todd. Happy New years!

    Ryan Bradshaw

    January 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    • Happy New Years to you, too, Ryan! And it appears I spoke…errr, wrote…too soon. Several sources are also now reporting that “researchers have discovered vulnerabilities, dubbed ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre,’ that let hackers steal data from running apps on most Intel chips, some ARM and AMD chips.” 2018, here we go!

      Todd Watson

      January 4, 2018 at 9:02 am

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