Meltdown and Specter Exploit Key Vulnerabilities in Modern Processors. These hardware errors allow the program to steal the data currently being processed on the computer. Although programs usually do not allow data to be read from other programs, malicious programs can exploit “meltdowns” and “ghosts” to retrieve the secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This may include passwords stored in a password manager or browser, personal photos, email, instant messaging, and even business-critical documents.
Meltdow and Specter work in personal computers, mobile devices and the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider’s infrastructure, data may be stolen from other customers.
Meltdow breaks the most basic isolation between user applications and operating systems. This attack allows the program to access other programs and operating system memory, which is also secret.
If your computer has a vulnerable processor and runs an unpatched operating system, it is not safe to use sensitive information and no information is leaked. This applies to personal computers and cloud infrastructure. Fortunately, there are software patches for Meltdown.
Specter breaks the isolation between different applications. It allows attackers to trick their mistakes into following the best practices of error-free programs. In fact, the security checks of the best practices actually increase the attack surface and may make the application more susceptible to Specter
Specter is harder to use than Meltdown, but it’s hard to alleviate. However, certain known vulnerabilities based on Specter can be prevented by software patches.
question and answer:
Am I affected by this mistake?
Can I detect if someone is using my Meltdown or Specter?
Probably not. Traditional log files will not leave any traces.
Can my anti-virus software detect or stop this attack?
Although theoretically feasible, but in practice this is unlikely. Unlike typical malware, Meltdown and Specter are hard to distinguish from regular, benign applications. However, your antivirus software may use these attacks to detect malware after it detects the binaries.
What can leak?
If your system is affected, our proof-of-concept vulnerabilities can read the memory contents of your computer. This may include passwords and sensitive data stored on the system.
Is Meltdown or Specter abused in the wild?
we do not know.
Is there any workaround / fix?
There are Meltdown patches for Linux (KPTI (formerly KAISER)), Windows, and OS X. Still other work is to prevent specter software from being developed in the future and patch software developed through Specter respectively.
Which system is influenced by Meltdown?
Desktops, laptops and cloud computers may be affected by Meltdown. Technically, every Intel processor running out-of-order may be affected and each processor is valid since 1995 (with Intel Itanium and Intel Atony until 2013). We successfully tested Meltdown on the Intel processor codenamed in 2011. Currently, we only validate Meltdown on Intel processors. It is unclear whether ARM and AMD processors are also affected by Meltdown.
Which systems are affected by Specter?
Specter affects almost every system: desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smartphones. More specifically, all modern processors that can hold many instructions in flight may be vulnerable. In particular, we validated Specter on Intel, AMD and ARM processors.
Which cloud provider is affected by Meltdown?
Use Intel CPUs and Xen PV as a virtualized cloud provider without applying patches. In addition, cloud providers without real hardware virtualization rely on containers that share a single kernel, such as Docker, LXC, or OpenVZ.
What is the difference between Meltdown and Specter?
Crash undermines the mechanism by which applications can not access arbitrary system memory. Therefore, the application can access system memory. Specter will trick other applications to access their memory anywhere. Both attacks use sidechannels to get information from the memory location accessed. For more technical discussions, we reference the papers (Meltdown and Specter)
Why is Meltdown?
This vulnerability basically melts the security boundaries that are typically enforced by hardware.
Why is Specter?
The name is based on the underlying cause, speculative execution. Because it is not easy to fix, so it will bother us for a long time.
Have more technical information on Meltdown and Ghost?
Yes, there is an article on ”
“Academic articles and blog posts, as well as a dissertation on” ghosts. “In addition, there is a Google Project Zero blog entry on both attacks.
What is CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715?
CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715 are official references to Specter. CVE is a name for information security vulnerability maintained by MITER.
What is CVE-2017-5754?
CVE-2017-5754 is the official Meltdown reference. CVE is a name for information security vulnerability maintained by MITER.
Meltdown YouTube Attack Video:
Where can I find official safety advice on / affected companies?
|Intel||Security Advisory / Newsroom|
|Project Zero Blog|
|MITRE||CVE-2017-5715 / CVE-2017-5753 / CVE-2017-5754|
|Red Hat||Vulnerability Response|