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SLAM Attack: New Spectre-based Vulnerability Impacts Intel, AMD, and Arm CPUs

SLAM Attack: New Spectre-based Vulnerability Impacts Intel, AMD, and Arm CPUs

Dec 09, 2023 Cyber Threat / Hardware Security
Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have disclosed a new side-channel attack called  SLAM  that could be exploited to leak sensitive information from kernel memory on current and upcoming CPUs from Intel, AMD, and Arm. The attack is an end-to-end exploit for Spectre based on a new feature in Intel CPUs called  Linear Address Masking  ( LAM ) as well as its analogous counterparts from AMD (called  Upper Address Ignore  or  UAI ) and Arm (called  Top Byte Ignore  or  TBI ). "SLAM exploits unmasked gadgets to let a userland process leak arbitrary ASCII kernel data," VUSec researchers  said , adding it could be leveraged to leak the root password hash within minutes from kernel memory. While LAM is presented as a security feature, the study found that it ironically degrades security and "dramatically" increases the  Spectre attack surface , resulting in a transient execution attack, which exploits  speculative execution  to extract sensitive data via
Reptar: New Intel CPU Vulnerability Impacts Multi-Tenant Virtualized Environments

Reptar: New Intel CPU Vulnerability Impacts Multi-Tenant Virtualized Environments

Nov 15, 2023 Vulnerability / Hardware Security
Intel has released fixes to close out a high-severity flaw codenamed  Reptar  that impacts its desktop, mobile, and server CPUs. Tracked as  CVE-2023-23583  (CVSS score: 8.8), the  issue  has the potential to "allow escalation of privilege and/or information disclosure and/or denial of service via local access." Successful exploitation of the vulnerability could also permit a bypass of the CPU's security boundaries, according to Google Cloud, which described it as an issue stemming from how redundant prefixes are interpreted by the processor. "The impact of this vulnerability is demonstrated when exploited by an attacker in a multi-tenant virtualized environment, as the exploit on a guest machine causes the host machine to crash resulting in a Denial of Service to other guest machines running on the same host," Google Cloud's Phil Venables  said . "Additionally, the vulnerability could potentially lead to information disclosure or privilege escala
How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

Feb 15, 2024SaaS Security / Risk Management
With many of the highly publicized 2023 cyber attacks revolving around one or more SaaS applications, SaaS has become a cause for genuine concern in many boardroom discussions. More so than ever, considering that GenAI applications are, in fact, SaaS applications. Wing Security (Wing), a SaaS security company, conducted an analysis of 493 SaaS-using companies in Q4 of 2023.  Their study reveals  how companies use SaaS today, and the wide variety of threats that result from that usage. This unique analysis provides rare and important insights into the breadth and depth of SaaS-related risks, but also provides practical tips to mitigate them and ensure SaaS can be widely used without compromising security posture.  The TL;DR Version Of SaaS Security 2023 brought some now infamous examples of malicious players leveraging or directly targeting SaaS, including the North Korean group UNC4899, 0ktapus ransomware group, and Russian Midnight Blizzard APT, which targeted well-known organizat
Collide+Power, Downfall, and Inception: New Side-Channel Attacks Affecting Modern CPUs

Collide+Power, Downfall, and Inception: New Side-Channel Attacks Affecting Modern CPUs

Aug 09, 2023
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a trio of side-channel attacks that could be exploited to leak sensitive data from modern CPUs. Called  Collide+Power  ( CVE-2023-20583 ),  Downfall  ( CVE-2022-40982 ), and  Inception  ( CVE-2023-20569 ), the novel methods follow the disclosure of another newly discovered security vulnerability affecting AMD's Zen 2 architecture-based processors known as  Zenbleed  (CVE-2023-20593). "Downfall attacks target a critical weakness found in billions of modern processors used in personal and cloud computers,"  Daniel Moghimi , senior research scientist at Google,  said . "This vulnerability [...] enables a user to access and steal data from other users who share the same computer." In a hypothetical attack scenario, a malicious app installed on a device could weaponize the method to steal sensitive information like passwords and encryption keys, effectively undermining Intel's Software Guard eXtensions ( SGX
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Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.
MSI Data Breach: Private Code Signing Keys Leaked on the Dark Web

MSI Data Breach: Private Code Signing Keys Leaked on the Dark Web

May 08, 2023 Data Breach / Software Security
The threat actors behind the ransomware attack on Taiwanese PC maker MSI last month have leaked the company's private code signing keys on their dark website. "Confirmed, Intel OEM private key leaked, causing an impact on the entire ecosystem," Alex Matrosov, founder and CEO of firmware security firm Binarly,  said  in a tweet over the weekend. "It appears that Intel Boot Guard may not be effective on certain devices based on the 11th Tiger Lake, 12th Adler Lake, and 13th Raptor Lake." Present in the leaked data are firmware image signing keys associated with 57 PCs and private signing keys for Intel Boot Guard used on 116 MSI products. The Boot Guard keys from MSI are believed to impact several device vendors, including Intel, Lenovo and Supermicro. Intel Boot Guard is a  hardware-based security technology  that's designed to protect computers against executing tampered UEFI firmware. The development comes a month after MSI  fell victim  to a double
CISA Warns of Active Attacks Exploiting Fortra MFT, TerraMaster NAS, and Intel Driver Flaws

CISA Warns of Active Attacks Exploiting Fortra MFT, TerraMaster NAS, and Intel Driver Flaws

Feb 11, 2023 Threat Response / Vulnerability
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Friday  added  three flaws to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities ( KEV ) catalog, citing evidence of active abuse in the wild. Included among the three is  CVE-2022-24990 , a bug affecting TerraMaster network-attached storage (TNAS) devices that could lead to unauthenticated remote code execution with the highest privileges. Details about the flaw were  disclosed  by Ethiopian cyber security research firm Octagon Networks in March 2022. The vulnerability, according to a  joint advisory  released by U.S. and South Korean government authorities, is said to have been weaponized by North Korean nation-state hackers to strike healthcare and critical infrastructure entities with ransomware. The second shortcoming to be added to KEV catalog is  CVE-2015-2291 , an unspecified flaw in the Intel ethernet diagnostics driver for Windows (IQVW32.sys and IQVW64.sys) that could throw an affected device into a denial-of-service
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
ÆPIC and SQUIP Vulnerabilities Found in Intel and AMD Processors

ÆPIC and SQUIP Vulnerabilities Found in Intel and AMD Processors

Aug 16, 2022
A group of researchers has revealed details of a new vulnerability affecting Intel CPUs that enables attackers to obtain encryption keys and other secret information from the processors. Dubbed  ÆPIC Leak , the weakness is the first-of-its-kind to architecturally disclose sensitive data in a manner that's akin to an "uninitialized memory read in the CPU itself." "In contrast to transient execution attacks like  Meltdown and Spectre ,  ÆPIC Leak  is an architectural bug: the sensitive data gets directly disclosed without relying on any (noisy) side channel," the academics said. The study was conducted by researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome, the Graz University of Technology, Amazon Web Services, and the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security. The vulnerability ( CVE-2022-21233 , CVSS score: 6.0), which affects CPUs with Sunny Cover microarchitecture, is rooted in a component called Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller ( APIC ), wh
New Study Finds Most Enterprise Vendors Failing to Mitigate Speculative Execution Attacks

New Study Finds Most Enterprise Vendors Failing to Mitigate Speculative Execution Attacks

Jul 18, 2022
With speculative execution attacks remaining a stubbornly persistent vulnerability ailing modern processors, new research has highlighted an "industry failure" to adopt mitigations released by AMD and Intel, posing a firmware supply chain threat. Dubbed  FirmwareBleed  by Binarly, the information leaking assaults stem from the continued exposure of microarchitectural attack surfaces on the part of enterprise vendors either as a result of not correctly incorporating the fixes or only using them partially. "The impact of such attacks is focused on disclosing the content from privileged memory (including protected by virtualization technologies) to obtain sensitive data from processes running on the same processor (CPU)," the firmware protection firm  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Cloud environments can have a greater impact when a physical server can be shared by multiple users or legal entities." In recent years, implementations of sp
New Hertzbleed Side Channel Attack Affects All Modern AMD and Intel CPUs

New Hertzbleed Side Channel Attack Affects All Modern AMD and Intel CPUs

Jun 15, 2022
A newly discovered security vulnerability in modern Intel and AMD processors could let remote attackers steal encryption keys via a power side channel attack. Dubbed  Hertzbleed  by a group of researchers from the University of Texas, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Washington, the issue is rooted in dynamic voltage and frequency scaling ( DVFS ), a power and thermal management feature employed to conserve power and reduce the amount of heat generated by a chip. "The cause is that, under certain circumstances, periodic CPU frequency adjustments depend on the current CPU power consumption, and these adjustments directly translate to execution time differences (as 1 hertz = 1 cycle per second)," the researchers said. This can have significant security implications on cryptographic libraries even when implemented correctly as  constant-time code  to prevent timing-based side channels, effectively enabling an attacker to leverage the execut
New Exploit Bypasses Existing Spectre-V2 Mitigations in Intel, AMD, Arm CPUs

New Exploit Bypasses Existing Spectre-V2 Mitigations in Intel, AMD, Arm CPUs

Mar 10, 2022
Researchers have disclosed a new technique that could be used to circumvent existing hardware mitigations in modern processors from Intel, AMD, and Arm, and stage  speculative execution  attacks such as Spectre to leak sensitive information from host memory. Attacks like  Spectre  are designed to break the isolation between different applications by taking advantage of an  optimization technique  called speculative execution in CPU hardware implementations to trick programs into accessing arbitrary locations in memory and thus leak their secrets. While chipmakers have incorporated both software and hardware  defenses , including  Retpoline  as well as safeguards like Enhanced Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation ( eIBRS ) and  Arm   CSV2 , the latest method demonstrated by VUSec researchers aims to get around all these protections. Called  Branch History Injection  (BHI or Spectre-BHB), it's a new variant of Spectre-V2 attacks (tracked as CVE-2017-5715) that bypasses both e
Malware Can Exploit New Flaw in Intel CPUs to Launch Side-Channel Attacks

Malware Can Exploit New Flaw in Intel CPUs to Launch Side-Channel Attacks

Mar 08, 2021
A new research has yielded yet another means to pilfer sensitive data by exploiting what's the first "on-chip, cross-core" side-channel attack targeting the ring interconnect used in Intel Coffee Lake and Skylake processors. Published by a group of academics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the  findings  are expected to be presented at the USENIX Security Symposium coming this August. While information leakage attacks targeting the CPU microarchitecture have been previously demonstrated to break the isolation between user applications and the operating system, allowing a malicious program to access memory used by other programs (e.g., Meltdown and Spectre), the new attack leverages a contention on the ring interconnect. SoC  Ring interconnect  is an on-die bus arranged in a ring topology which enables intra-process communication between different components (aka agents) such as the cores, the last level cache (LLC), the graphics unit, and the syst
Intel Adds Hardware-Enabled Ransomware Detection to 11th Gen vPro Chips

Intel Adds Hardware-Enabled Ransomware Detection to 11th Gen vPro Chips

Jan 13, 2021
Intel and Cybereason have partnered to build anti-ransomware defenses into the chipmaker's newly announced 11th generation Core  vPro  business-class processors. The hardware-based security enhancements are baked into Intel's vPro platform via its  Hardware Shield  and  Threat Detection Technology  (TDT), enabling profiling and detection of ransomware and other threats that have an impact on the CPU performance. "The joint solution represents the first instance where PC hardware plays a direct role in ransomware defenses to better protect enterprise endpoints from costly attacks," Cybereason  said . Exclusive to vPro, Intel Hardware Shield provides protections against firmware-level attacks targeting the  BIOS , thereby ensuring that the operating system (OS) runs on legitimate hardware as well as minimizing the risk of malicious code injection by locking down memory in the BIOS when the software is running to help prevent planted malware from compromising the OS
LVI Attacks: New Intel CPU Vulnerability Puts Data Centers At Risk

LVI Attacks: New Intel CPU Vulnerability Puts Data Centers At Risk

Mar 10, 2020
It appears there is no end in sight to the hardware level security vulnerabilities in Intel processors, as well as to the endless 'performance killing' patches that resolve them. Modern Intel CPUs have now been found vulnerable to a new attack that involves reversely exploiting Meltdown-type data leak vulnerabilities to bypass existing defenses, two separate teams of researchers told The Hacker News. Tracked as CVE-2020-0551 , dubbed " Load Value Injection in the Line Fill Buffers" or LVI-LFB for short, the new speculative-execution attack could let a less privileged attacker steal sensitive information—encryption keys or passwords—from the protected memory and subsequently, take significant control over a targeted system. According to experts at Bitdefender and academic researchers from a couple of universities, the new attack is particularly devastating in multi-tenant environments such as enterprise workstations or cloud servers in the datacenter. And
9 Years of AMD Processors Vulnerable to 2 New Side-Channel Attacks

9 Years of AMD Processors Vulnerable to 2 New Side-Channel Attacks

Mar 09, 2020
AMD processors from as early as 2011 to 2019 carry previously undisclosed vulnerabilities that open them to two new different side-channel attacks, according to a freshly published research. Known as " Take A Way ," the new potential attack vectors leverage the L1 data (L1D) cache way predictor in AMD's Bulldozer microarchitecture to leak sensitive data from the processors and compromise the security by recovering the secret key used during encryption. The research was published by a group of academics from the Graz University of Technology and Research Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems (IRISA), who responsibly disclosed the vulnerabilities to AMD back in August 2019. "We are aware of a new white paper that claims potential security exploits in AMD CPUs, whereby a malicious actor could manipulate a cache-related feature to potentially transmit user data in an unintended way," AMD said in an advisory posted on its website over the weekend
US Tech Giants Google, Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom Break Up With Huawei

US Tech Giants Google, Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom Break Up With Huawei

May 20, 2019
Google has reportedly suspended all businesses with the world's second-biggest smartphone maker, Huawei, and revoked its Android license effective immediately—a move that will have a drastic impact on Huawei devices across the globe. Revoking Android license means Huawei future smartphones will no longer have access to Android updates and apps like Gmail or the Play Store, as well as Google technical support beyond services that are publicly available via open source licensing, Reuters report. Why? That's because last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency banning foreign companies—over surveillance fear—from doing telecommunication business in the United States without the government's approval. About the executive order, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that President Trump "has made it clear that this Administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, an
Apple Plans to Replace Intel Chips in Macs with its Custom Designed CPUs

Apple Plans to Replace Intel Chips in Macs with its Custom Designed CPUs

Apr 03, 2018
In a major blow to Intel, Apple is reportedly planning to use its custom-designed ARM chips in Mac computers starting as early as 2020, ultimately replacing the Intel processors running on its desktop and laptop hardware. The company makes its own A-series custom chips for iPhones, iPads and other iThings, while the Mac devices use Intel x64 silicon. Now according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple plans to replace Intel's Mac chips with its own homegrown CPUs. The report says Apple executives have a project, codenamed " Kalamata ," that designs desktop-grade Arm-compatible processors, along with a macOS port, allowing the company to craft a uniform architecture across all of its product lines. The report also says this changeover would be part of a "multi-step transition" to make iOS devices and Macs "work more similarly and seamlessly together," helping Apple's plan (project codename ' Marzipan ') to bring iOS apps to Mac for sof
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