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Researchers Uncover New GPU Side-Channel Vulnerability Leaking Sensitive Data

Researchers Uncover New GPU Side-Channel Vulnerability Leaking Sensitive Data
Sep 27, 2023 Vulnerability / Endpoint Security
A novel side-channel attack called  GPU.zip  renders virtually all modern graphics processing units (GPU) vulnerable to information leakage. "This channel exploits an optimization that is data dependent, software transparent, and present in nearly all modern GPUs: graphical data compression," a group of academics from the University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Washington, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign  said . Graphical data compression  is a feature in integrated GPUs (iGPUs) that allows for saving memory bandwidth and improving performance when rendering frames, compressing visual data losslessly even when it's not requested by software. The study found that the compression, which happens in various vendor-specific and undocumented ways, induces data-dependent  DRAM  traffic and cache occupancy that can be measured using a side-channel. "An attacker can exploit the iGPU-based compression channel to perform cro

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

SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework
Feb 20, 2024Cybersecurity Framework / SaaS Security
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework is one of the world's most important guidelines for securing networks. It can be applied to any number of applications, including SaaS.  One of the challenges facing those tasked with securing SaaS applications is the different settings found in each application. It makes it difficult to develop a configuration policy that will apply to an HR app that manages employees, a marketing app that manages content, and an R&D app that manages software versions, all while aligning with NIST compliance standards.  However, there are several settings that can be applied to nearly every app in the SaaS stack. In this article, we'll explore some universal configurations, explain why they are important, and guide you in setting them in a way that improves your SaaS apps' security posture.  Start with Admins Role-based access control (RBAC) is a key to NIST adherence and should be applied to every SaaS a

New 'Deep Learning Attack' Deciphers Laptop Keystrokes with 95% Accuracy

New 'Deep Learning Attack' Deciphers Laptop Keystrokes with 95% Accuracy
Aug 07, 2023 Deep Learning / Endpoint Security
A group of academics has devised a "deep learning-based acoustic side-channel attack" that can be used to classify laptop keystrokes that are recorded using a nearby phone with 95% accuracy. "When trained on keystrokes recorded using the video conferencing software Zoom, an accuracy of 93% was achieved, a new best for the medium," researchers Joshua Harrison, Ehsan Toreini, and Maryam Mehrnezhad  said  in a new study published last week. Side-channel attacks  refer  to a class of  security exploits  that aim to glean insights from a system by monitoring and measuring its physical effects during the processing of sensitive data. Some of the common observable effects include runtime behavior, power consumption, electromagnetic radiation, acoustics, and cache accesses. Although a completely side-channel-free implementation does not exist, practical attacks of this kind can have damaging consequences for user privacy and security as they could be weaponized by a ma

Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

cyber security
websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.

Researchers Find Way to Recover Cryptographic Keys by Analyzing LED Flickers

Researchers Find Way to Recover Cryptographic Keys by Analyzing LED Flickers
Jun 26, 2023 Cryptography / Cybersecurity
In what's an ingenious  side-channel attack , a group of academics has found that it's possible to recover secret keys from a device by analyzing video footage of its power LED. "Cryptographic computations performed by the CPU change the power consumption of the device which affects the brightness of the device's power LED," researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Cornell University  said  in a study. By taking advantage of this observation, it's possible for threat actors to leverage video camera devices such as an iPhone 13 or an internet-connected surveillance camera to extract the cryptographic keys from a smart card reader­. Specifically, video-based cryptanalysis is accomplished by obtaining video footage of rapid changes in an LED's brightness and exploiting the video camera's  rolling shutter  effect to capture the physical emanations. "This is caused by the fact that the power LED is connected directly to the pow

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 Bugs Could Let Hackers Bypass Spectre Attack Mitigations On Linux Systems

New Bugs Could Let Hackers Bypass Spectre Attack Mitigations On Linux Systems
Mar 29, 2021
Cybersecurity researchers on Monday disclosed two new vulnerabilities in Linux-based operating systems that, if successfully exploited, could let attackers circumvent mitigations for speculative attacks such as  Spectre  and obtain sensitive information from kernel memory. Discovered by  Piotr Krysiuk  of Symantec's Threat Hunter team, the flaws — tracked as CVE-2020-27170 and CVE-2020-27171 (CVSS scores: 5.5) — impact all Linux kernels prior to 5.11.8. Patches for the security issues were released on March 20, with Ubuntu, Debian, and Red Hat deploying fixes for the vulnerabilities in their respective Linux distributions. While  CVE-2020-27170  can be abused to reveal content from any location within the kernel memory,  CVE-2020-27171 can be used to retrieve data from a 4GB range of kernel memory. First documented in January 2018,  Spectre and Meltdown  take advantage of flaws in modern processors to  leak data  that are currently processed on the computer, thereby allowing

NetCAT: New Attack Lets Hackers Remotely Steal Data From Intel CPUs

NetCAT: New Attack Lets Hackers Remotely Steal Data From Intel CPUs
Sep 11, 2019
Unlike previous side-channel vulnerabilities disclosed in Intel CPUs, researchers have discovered a new flaw that can be exploited remotely over the network without requiring an attacker to have physical access or any malware installed on a targeted computer. Dubbed NetCAT , short for Network Cache ATtack, the new network-based side-channel vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to sniff out sensitive data, such as someone's SSH password, from Intel's CPU cache. Discovered by a team of security researchers from the Vrije University in Amsterdam, the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-11184, resides in a performance optimization feature called Intel's DDIO—short for Data-Direct I/O—which by design grants network devices and other peripherals access to the CPU cache. The DDIO comes enabled by default on all Intel server-grade processors since 2012, including Intel Xeon E5, E7 and SP families. According to the researchers [ paper ], NetCAT attack works simila

OpenSSH Now Encrypts Secret Keys in Memory Against Side-Channel Attacks

OpenSSH Now Encrypts Secret Keys in Memory Against Side-Channel Attacks
Jun 22, 2019
In recent years, several groups of cybersecurity researchers have disclosed dozens of memory side-channel vulnerabilities in modern processors and DRAM s, like Rowhammer , RAMBleed , Spectre, and Meltdown . Have you ever noticed they all had at least one thing in common? That's OpenSSH. As a proof-of-concept, many researchers demonstrated their side-channel attacks against OpenSSH application installed on a targeted computer, where an unprivileged attacker-owned process exploits memory read vulnerabilities to steal secret SSH private keys from the restricted memory regions of the system. That's possible because OpenSSH has an agent that keeps a copy of your SSH key in the memory so that you don't have to type your passphrase every time you want to connect to the same remote server. However, modern operating systems by default store sensitive data, including encryption keys and passwords, in the kernel memory which can not be accessed by user-level privileged p

NetSpectre — New Remote Spectre Attack Steals Data Over the Network

NetSpectre — New Remote Spectre Attack Steals Data Over the Network
Jul 27, 2018
A team of security researchers has discovered a new Spectre attack that can be launched over the network, unlike all other Spectre variants that require some form of local code execution on the target system. Dubbed " NetSpectre ," the new remote side-channel attack, which is related to Spectre variant 1, abuses speculative execution to perform bounds-check bypass and can be used to defeat address-space layout randomization on the remote system. If you're unaware, the original Spectre Variant 1 flaw (CVE-2017-5753), which was reported earlier this year along with another Spectre and Meltdown flaws , leverages speculative stores to create speculative buffer overflows in the CPU store cache. 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 and is discarded if not. This issue could

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

OpenBSD Disables Intel Hyper-Threading to Prevent Spectre-Class Attacks
Jun 20, 2018
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

New 'Lazy FP State Restore' Vulnerability Found in All Modern Intel CPUs

New 'Lazy FP State Restore' Vulnerability Found in All Modern Intel CPUs
Jun 14, 2018
Hell Yeah! Another security vulnerability has been discovered in Intel chips that affects the processor's speculative execution technology—like Specter and Meltdown —and could potentially be exploited to access sensitive information, including encryption related data. Dubbed Lazy FP State Restore , the vulnerability (CVE-2018-3665) within Intel Core and Xeon processors has just been confirmed by Intel, and vendors are now rushing to roll out security updates in order to fix the flaw and keep their customers protected. The company has not yet released technical details about the vulnerability, but since the vulnerability resides in the CPU, the flaw affects all devices running Intel Core-based microprocessors regardless of the installed operating systems, except some modern versions of Windows and Linux distributions. As the name suggests, the flaw leverages a system performance optimization feature, called Lazy FP state restore, embedded in modern processors, which is resp

Linux TCP Flaw allows Hackers to Hijack Internet Traffic and Inject Malware Remotely

Linux TCP Flaw allows Hackers to Hijack Internet Traffic and Inject Malware Remotely
Aug 11, 2016
If you are using the Internet, there are the possibilities that you are open to attack. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) implementation in all Linux systems deployed since 2012 ( version 3.6 and above of the Linux kernel ) poses a serious threat to Internet users, whether or not they use Linux directly. This issue is troubling because Linux is used widely across the Internet, from web servers to Android smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Researchers have uncovered a serious Internet flaw, which if exploited, could allow attackers to terminate or inject malware into unencrypted communication between any two vulnerable machines on the Internet. The vulnerability could also be used to forcefully terminate HTTPS encrypted connections and downgrade the privacy of secure connections, as well as also threatens anonymity of Tor users by routing them to certain malicious relays. The flaw actually resides in the design and implementation of the Request for Comments: 5961 ( RF

Stealing Encryption Keys Just by Touching a Laptop

Stealing Encryption Keys Just by Touching a Laptop
Aug 27, 2014
As far sci-fi movies have been entertaining the public, but their ideas have always been a matter of adoption in real life. Just like in any other sci-fi movie, simply touching a laptop can be enough to extract the cryptographic keys used to secure data stored on it. A team of computer security experts at Tel Aviv University (Israel) has come up with a new potentially much simpler method that lets you steal data from computers — Just Touch it — literally. WAYS TO ATTACK ENCRYPTION There are different ways of attacking encryption systems. On one side, there are security vulnerabilities and weakness in the encryption algorithms themselves that make it possible to figure out the cryptographic keys. On the other side, there are flaws and weaknesses in the people themselves that make it easier than it should be to force them to offer up the keys to decrypt something. But, Flaws and weaknesses in neither of which is necessarily quick or easy to find out, as there are seve

Cross-VM Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys

Cross-VM Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys
Nov 05, 2012
A group of researchers has developed a side-channel attack targeting virtual machines that could pose a threat to cloud computing environments. Side-channel attacks against cryptography keys have, until now, been limited to physical machines, this attack is the first such attack demonstrated on a symmetric multiprocessing system virtualized using a modern VMM (Xen). A side channel is a form of information leakage that arises as a byproduct of resource exposure, such as the sharing of memory caches. A side-channel attack exploits such leakage to steal secrets, such as cryptographic keys. " In this attack, the researchers were able to extract a private ElGamal decryption key from the target VM's libgcrypt library; the target was running Gnu Privacy Guard. Over the course of a few hours of observations, they were able to reconstruct a 457-bit exponent accompanying a 4096-bit modulus with high accuracy. So high that the attacker was then left to search fewer than 10,000 possible exp
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