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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Intel SGX Enclaves

New PlunderVolt Attack Targets Intel SGX Enclaves by Tweaking CPU Voltage

New PlunderVolt Attack Targets Intel SGX Enclaves by Tweaking CPU Voltage

December 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A team of cybersecurity researchers demonstrated a novel yet another technique to hijack Intel SGX, a hardware-isolated trusted space on modern Intel CPUs that encrypts extremely sensitive data to shield it from attackers even when a system gets compromised. Dubbed Plundervolt and tracked as CVE-2019-11157, the attack relies on the fact that modern processors allow frequency and voltage to be adjusted when needed, which, according to researchers, can be modified in a controlled way to induce errors in the memory by flipping bits. Bit flip is a phenomenon widely known for the Rowhammer attack wherein attackers hijack vulnerable memory cells by changing their value from 1 to a 0, or vice versa—all by tweaking the electrical charge of neighboring memory cells. However, since the Software Guard Extensions (SGX) enclave memory is encrypted, the Plundervolt attack leverages the same idea of flipping bits by injecting faults in the CPU before they are written to the memory. Plundervo
Researchers Implant "Protected" Malware On Intel SGX Enclaves

Researchers Implant "Protected" Malware On Intel SGX Enclaves

February 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a way to hide malicious code in Intel SGX enclaves, a hardware-based memory encryption feature in modern processors that isolates sensitive code and data to protect it from disclosure or modification. In other words, the technique allows attackers to implant malware code in a secure memory that uses protection features of SGX which are otherwise designed to protect important data from prying eyes or from being tampered, even on a compromised system. Introduced with Intel's Skylake processors, SGX (Software Guard Extensions) allows developers to run selected application modules in a completely isolated secure region of memory, called enclaves, which are designed to be protected from processes running at higher privilege levels like the operating system, kernel, BIOS, SMM, hypervisor, etc. However, a team of researchers, some of whom were behind the discovery of the Spectre-Meltdown CPU flaws , managed to bypass this protection and g
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