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Researchers Uncover First Native Spectre v2 Exploit Against Linux Kernel

Researchers Uncover First Native Spectre v2 Exploit Against Linux Kernel
Apr 10, 2024 Hardware Security / Linux
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed what they say is the "first native Spectre v2 exploit" against the Linux kernel on Intel systems that could be exploited to read sensitive data from the memory. The exploit, called Native Branch History Injection (BHI), can be used to leak arbitrary kernel memory at 3.5 kB/sec by bypassing existing Spectre v2/BHI mitigations, researchers from Systems and Network Security Group (VUSec) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  said  in a new study. The shortcoming is being tracked as  CVE-2024-2201 . BHI was  first disclosed  by VUSec in March 2022, describing it as a technique that can get around Spectre v2 protections in modern processors from Intel, AMD, and Arm. While the attack leveraged extended Berkeley Packet Filters (eBPFs), Intel's recommendations to address the problem, among other things, were to disable Linux's unprivileged eBPFs. "Privileged managed runtimes that can be configured to allow an unprivileged user t

Intel Confirms Leak of Alder Lake BIOS Source Code

Intel Confirms Leak of Alder Lake BIOS Source Code
Oct 10, 2022
Chipmaker Intel has confirmed that proprietary source code related to its Alder Lake CPUs has been leaked, following its release by an unknown third-party on 4chan and GitHub last week. The published content contains Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) code for  Alder Lake , the company's 12th generation processors that was originally launched in November 2021. In a statement shared with Tom's Hardware, Intel  said  the leak doesn't expose "any new security vulnerabilities as we do not rely on obfuscation of information as a security measure." It's also encouraging the broader security research community to report any potential issues through its  bug bounty program , adding it's reaching out to customers to notify them of the matter. Besides the UEFI code, the leaked data dump includes a plethora of files and tools, some of which appear to come from firmware vendor Insyde Software. Exact details surrounding the nature of the hack, inclu

Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution

Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution
Apr 15, 2024Active Directory / Attack Surface
To minimize the risk of privilege misuse, a trend in the privileged access management (PAM) solution market involves implementing just-in-time (JIT) privileged access. This approach to  privileged identity management  aims to mitigate the risks associated with prolonged high-level access by granting privileges temporarily and only when necessary, rather than providing users with continuous high-level privileges. By adopting this strategy, organizations can enhance security, minimize the window of opportunity for potential attackers and ensure that users access privileged resources only when necessary.  What is JIT and why is it important?   JIT privileged access provisioning  involves granting privileged access to users on a temporary basis, aligning with the concept of least privilege. This principle provides users with only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks, and only for the amount of time required to do so. One of the key advantages of JIT provisioning

Intel, ARM, IBM, AMD Processors Vulnerable to New Side-Channel Attacks

Intel, ARM, IBM, AMD Processors Vulnerable to New Side-Channel Attacks
Aug 07, 2020
It turns out that the root cause behind several previously disclosed speculative execution attacks against modern processors, such as Meltdown and Foreshadow , was misattributed to 'prefetching effect,' resulting in hardware vendors releasing incomplete mitigations and countermeasures. Sharing its findings with The Hacker News, a group of academics from the Graz University of Technology and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security finally revealed the exact reason behind why the kernel addresses are cached in the first place, as well as presented several new attacks that exploit the previously unidentified underlying issue, allowing attackers to sniff out sensitive data. The new research explains microarchitectural attacks were actually caused by speculative dereferencing of user-space registers in the kernel, which not just impacts the most recent Intel CPUs with the latest hardware mitigations, but also several modern processors from ARM, IBM, and AMD — previou

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New Noise-Resilient Attack On Intel and AMD CPUs Makes Flush-based Attacks Effective

 New Noise-Resilient Attack On Intel and AMD CPUs Makes Flush-based Attacks Effective
May 30, 2020
Modern Intel and AMD processors are susceptible to a new form of side-channel attack that makes flush-based cache attacks resilient to system noise, newly published research shared with The Hacker News has revealed. The findings are from a paper " DABANGG: Time for Fearless Flush based Cache Attacks " published by a pair of researchers, Biswabandan Panda and Anish Saxena, from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur earlier this week. Dubbed " Dabangg " (meaning fearless), the approach builds upon the Flush+Reload and Flush+Flush attacks, which have been exploited previously by other researchers to leak data from Intel CPUs. However, the new variant aims to improve the accuracy of these attacks even in a noisy multi-core system. It also works seamlessly against non-Linux Operating Systems, like macOS. "Like any other cache attacks, flush based cache attacks rely on the calibration of cache latency," Biswabandan Panda, assistant profes

Two New Spectre-Class CPU Flaws Discovered—Intel Pays $100K Bounty

Two New Spectre-Class CPU Flaws Discovered—Intel Pays $100K Bounty
Jul 11, 2018
Intel has paid out a $100,000 bug bounty for new processor vulnerabilities that are related to Spectre variant one ( CVE-2017-5753 ). The new Spectre-class variants are tracked as Spectre 1.1 (CVE-2018-3693) and Spectre 1.2, of which Spectre 1.1 described as a bounds-check bypass store attack has been considered as more dangerous. Earlier this year, Google Project Zero researchers disclosed details of Variants 1 and 2 (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715), known as Spectre, and Variant 3 (CVE-2017-5754), known as Meltdown. Spectre flaws take advantage of speculative execution, an optimization technique used by modern CPUs, to potentially expose sensitive data through a side channel by observing the system. Speculative execution is a core component of modern processors design that speculatively executes instructions based on assumptions that are considered likely to be true. If the assumptions come out to be valid, the execution continues, otherwise discarded. New Spectre-Cla
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