[Various] Spectre & Meltdown: Critical vulnerabilities in modern processors - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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[Various] Spectre & Meltdown: Critical vulnerabilities in modern processors

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post #1 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Which systems are affected by Meltdown?
Desktop, Laptop, and Cloud computers may be affected by Meltdown. More technically, every Intel processor which implements out-of-order execution is potentially affected, which is effectively every processor since 1995 (except Intel Itanium and Intel Atom before 2013). We successfully tested Meltdown on Intel processor generations released as early as 2011. Currently, we have only verified Meltdown on Intel processors. At the moment, it is unclear whether ARM and AMD processors are also affected by Meltdown.

Which systems are affected by Spectre?
Almost every system is affected by Spectre: Desktops, Laptops, Cloud Servers, as well as Smartphones. More specifically, all modern processors capable of keeping many instructions in flight are potentially vulnerable. In particular, we have verified Spectre on Intel, AMD, and ARM processors.

What is the difference between Meltdown and Spectre?
Meltdown breaks the mechanism that keeps applications from accessing arbitrary system memory. Consequently, applications can access system memory. Spectre tricks other applications into accessing arbitrary locations in their memory. Both attacks use side channels to obtain the information from the accessed memory location.
https://meltdownattack.com/

Spectre: https://spectreattack.com/spectre.pdf
Meltdown: https://meltdownattack.com/meltdown.pdf

Google (Project Zero): Reading privileged memory with a side-channel
Today's CPU vulnerability: what you need to know
More details about mitigations for the CPU Speculative Execution issue

Microsoft: Windows Client Guidance for IT Pros to protect against speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities

Intel: Intel Responds to Security Research Findings
Intel Issues Updates to Protect Systems from Security Exploits
Facts about The New Security Research Findings and Intel Products
Speculative Execution and Indirect Branch Prediction Side Channel Analysis Method
Intel Analysis of Speculative Execution Side Channels

AMD: Information Security is a Priority at AMD

ARM: Vulnerability of Speculative Processors to Cache Timing Side-Channel Mechanism

Apple: About speculative execution vulnerabilities in ARM-based and Intel CPUs

NVIDIA: Security Bulletin: NVIDIA GPU Display Driver Security Updates for Speculative Side Channels



tomshardware: Understanding The Meltdown And Spectre Exploits: Intel, AMD, ARM, And Nvidia
[H]ardOCP: Quick Facts about Meltdown and Spectre
Anandtech: Understanding Meltdown & Spectre: What To Know About New Exploits That Affect Virtually All CPUs
Cnet: How to protect yourself from Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws
Wired: Meltdown and Spectre Fixes Arrive—But Don't Solve Everything
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post #2 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:20 AM
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post #3 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:38 AM
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We have known this for a while but it is still good to see that it is not being left alone as it is something Intel need to step up and resolve. Regarding there current platforms, yeah they are slave to OS developers patching the software side of things to try and help fix the mess. Good news for AMD to some degree however.



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post #4 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:39 AM
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Brilliant article, they include a tweet saying there is a 49% performance hit on AMD EPYC processors and immediately follow that up with the statement that says this switch is unnecessary on EPYC.


I can't facepalm hard enough.


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post #5 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Avonosac View Post

Brilliant article, they include a tweet saying there is a 49% performance hit on AMD EPYC processors and immediately follow that up with the statement that says this switch is unnecessary on EPYC.


I can't facepalm hard enough.

They wouldn't need it anyway because a major selling point on Epyc is per-VM hardware memory encryption. I can steal a book from someone all I want, but if I can't read the language then it doesn't do me much good, does it?

Boy I bet that marketing line is being taken a lot more seriously now. tongue.gif

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post #6 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avonosac View Post

Brilliant article, they include a tweet saying there is a 49% performance hit on AMD EPYC processors and immediately follow that up with the statement that says this switch is unnecessary on EPYC.


I can't facepalm hard enough.

Yeah, they should have included results from an Intel CPU so we could see what the performance impact is. Bringing AMD into the discussion when it's not affected seems pointless to say the least.

Well, at least they went on to clarify and quote someone from AMD saying that it doesn't apply to AMD CPUs and I'm assuming that the patched OSes will automatically choose the best path for AMD CPUs, or in other words, apply this (or equivalent in Windows) automatically:
Quote:
Disable page table isolation by default on AMD processors by not setting
the X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE feature, which controls whether X86_FEATURE_PTI
is set.

https://lkml.org/lkml/2017/12/27/2


Now I really want to see what the performance impact on Intel CPUs is going to be. From 5% to 49% is a big gap and we need to know the usage scenarios to see if this is a big issue or not. If a 49% impact is only on exotic workloads, Intel will get away with it, but a more general scenario could (I never thought I'd say this) actually break them. Even if 5% performance impact is what will happen in most cases, that means that the IPC advantage Intel has over AMD right now is going to be mostly wiped out.

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post #7 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 12:16 PM
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I'm assuming that the patched OSes will automatically choose the best path for AMD CPUs, or in other words, apply this (or equivalent in Windows) automatically:

Unless Intel decides to grease some palms to ensure the AMD CPUs are also flagged for the instruction so that they also get hit with the performance decrease.

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post #8 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 12:17 PM
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I remember reading about using ASLR disabled when the Ryzen segfaulting occurred to minimize the segfaults.

It remains to been seen how it affects Intel CPUs.

► Recommended GPU Projects: [email protected] , [email protected] (FP64) (AMD moreso) ► Other notable GPU projects: [email protected] (Nvidia), GPUGrid (Nvidia) ► Project list


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post #9 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 12:24 PM
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A lot of info here

http://pythonsweetness.tumblr.com/post/169166980422/the-mysterious-case-of-the-linux-page-table

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16046636 -> Good discussion here...

Windows have been working on some fixes too
https://twitter.com/aionescu/status/930412525111296000

This is the resume of the patch status
https://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/741878/eb6c9d3913d7cb2b/

And a page on wikipedia was created on dec 29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_page-table_isolation

AWS instances apparently are going to be rebooted on jan 4... Azure instances on jan 10... (some people are commenting about emails received previously)

Edit: and the Intel CEO sold a lot of shares on dec 19... https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/12/19/intels-ceo-just-sold-a-lot-of-stock.aspx
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post #10 of 1852 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 12:31 PM
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Edit: and the Intel CEO sold a lot of shares on dec 19... https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/12/19/intels-ceo-just-sold-a-lot-of-stock.aspx

thats a sign of one of three possibilities.

1) Intel's CEO is planning to leave
2) Intel's CEO is expecting some awful news to affect intel's stock in a bad bad way. (remember Equifax? their whole board of directors withheld the news about the hack so they could divest themselves from the company, once they were divested they released the news about the hack). I would expect company affecting bad news to result in most of the directors divesting, not just the CEO; so unless the rest of intel's directors also recently sold off shares, then this probably isn't why he's selling.
3) Intel's CEO wants to invest in something else, or needs a lot of liquid assets for some reason (this is unlikely unless he plans to buy or massively invest in a company; or he's going to be sat on the board of another company and that company has share requirements to be seated... this is more common then you'd expect)

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