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Spectre is one in a list of critical vulnerabilities in modern processors that was discovered over the last few years, and it seems it's not been solved yet. Despite new hardware designs, and updates to the Linux Kernel and more to defend against the issues, researchers at University of Virginia School of Engineering claim to have a new discovery that could have a huge impact.

Affecting both AMD and Intel, in a post titled "Defenseless", UVA Engineering say we will "have to go back to the drawing board" when it comes to defending against it as they've "uncovered a line of attack that breaks all Spectre defenses, meaning that billions of computers and other devices across the globe are just as vulnerable today as they were when Spectre was first announced".

What they're doing is exploiting a "micro-op cache" that "speeds up computing by storing simple commands and allowing the processor to fetch them quickly and early in the speculative execution process". What they found is that they can pinch data from it when a processor tries fetching from this cache. Current defenses for Spectre deal with what happens later on for speculative execution and so they don't help here.

Their team disclosed the vulnerabilities to AMD and Intel already, and they gave a tech talk at Intel Labs worldwide April 27, to talk about potential fixes.

See the announcement and the paper for more info.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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8 comments

BielFPs 1 May
I hope we don't get more performance regression due to the mitigation about this one
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Quoting: BielFPsI hope we don't get more performance regression due to the mitigation about this one

well...

Quote“In the case of the previous Spectre attacks, developers have come up with a relatively easy way to prevent any sort of attack without a major performance penalty” for computing, Moody said. “The difference with this attack is you take a much greater performance penalty than those previous attacks.”
BielFPs 1 May
Quoting: kellerkindtwell...
We seriously need a replacement for silicon as soon as possible.
HalfBaked 1 May
Is this the same micro-op cache that's used to cache the simpler risc-like instructions that the x86 instructions are translated to? If this is the case it shouldn't affect arm or power chips.
orlfman 2 May
Quoting: BielFPs
Quoting: kellerkindtwell...
We seriously need a replacement for silicon as soon as possible.
graphene: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene
barotto 2 May
Quoting: HalfBakedIs this the same micro-op cache that's used to cache the simpler risc-like instructions that the x86 instructions are translated to? If this is the case it shouldn't affect arm or power chips.

ARM's microarchitectures use Mop caches as well.
It's a widely used mechanism for fast instruction decoding.
This doesn't mean this or similar vulnerability is present in ARM's uarchs tho.
Intel and AMD really must stop the bike.
Instead of wasting resources in the release "new" processors every six months, they should be working on a new bugfree architecture.
BielFPs 3 May
Quoting: orlfmangraphene: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene
Graphene are the stem cells of technology, in theory it's revolutionary for a lot of things, except leaving the research lab.
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