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OpenBSD Disables Intel Hyper-Threading to Prevent Spectre-Class Attacks

OpenBSD Disables Intel Hyper-Threading to Prevent Spectre-Class Attacks

June 20, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security-oriented BSD operating system OpenBSD has decided to disable support for Intel's hyper-threading performance-boosting feature, citing security concerns over Spectre-style timing attacks . Introduced in 2002, Hyper-threading is Intel's implementation of Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) that allows the operating system to use a virtual core for each physical core present in processors in order to improve performance. The Hyper-threading feature comes enabled on computers by default for performance boosting, but in a detailed post published Tuesday, OpenBSD maintainer Mark Kettenis said such processor implementations could lead to Spectre-style timing attacks. "SMT (Simultaneous multithreading) implementations typically share TLBs and L1 caches between threads," Kettenis wrote. "This can make cache timing attacks a lot easier, and we strongly suspect that this will make several Spectre-class bugs exploitable." In cryptography, side-channe
Unmasking Google Users With a New Timing Attack

Unmasking Google Users With a New Timing Attack

September 10, 2014Wang Wei
Researcher has discovered a new Timing attack that could unmask Google users under some special conditions. Andrew Cantino, the vice president of engineering at Mavenlink, detailed his attack in a blogpost st week. According to him, the attack could be used by an attacker to target a particular person or organization. A cyber criminal could share a Google document with an email address, un-checking the option by which Google sends the recipient a notification. TIMING ATTACK USED TO DE-MASK TOR USER'S IDENTITY Now, using timing attack exploit technique, a cyber criminal could figure out when someone logged into any one of the shared addresses visits the their site, Cantino said. An attacker could even use this attack in spear phishing campaigns or even could unmask the identity of Tor users if they're logged in to Google while using the Tor browser . Timing attack can allow to unmask targeted Google users as they browse the web. Cantino said the attack is straightforwa
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