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Thread: Major security flaw found in Intel processors

  1. #61


    Quote Originally Posted by kahless View Post
    Red Hat Will Revert Spectre Patches After Receiving Reports of Boot Issues
    Been following 4.15 release,, expected today.

    It may still be a problem with the server patches... there has been a push to fix,,and release candidates are being tested still.

    There are a lot of eyes on the code.
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  3. #62


    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Also, a quick note about "backdoors". If you are an ordinary PC user, you should never operate under the assumption that "my computer is secure" because... it isn't. These latest attacks have nothing to do with that. If the NSA or somebody at that scale wants inside your PC, they're in, just like that and they don't have to use academic timing attacks to do it. The best overall description is "push-button access". We know this is the case thanks to the Snowden disclosures, among other whistleblowers.
    The same is true of everything. Nothing is completely secure. But if an ordinary citizen takes some very ordinary precautions, they will be 1) more effort than they're worth, and 2) safe from prosecution, because the NSA is not about to show off their toolkit in court unless you're Bin Laden 2.0.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    Sorry that your candidate is a fascist and you can't even see it.
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    I heard he called for 30k troops in Syria in the debate this evening. /Deal breaker.

  4. #63


    The always outspoken Linus Torvalds, best known for his continuing work on the innermost code of Linux systems, has harsh words to say and accusations to level against Intel. His evaluation of Intel's latest proposed fix for the Meltdown/Spectre issue: "the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE." As a potential line of inquiry, he suggests: "Has anybody talked to them and told them they are f*cking insane?" (asterisk his.)
    These and other kind epithets are awarded by Torvalds in a public email chain between him and David Woodhouse, an engineer at Amazon in the U.K., regarding Intel's solution as relating to the Linux kernel. The issue is (as far as I can tell as someone far out of their depth) a clumsy and, Torvalds argues, "insane" implementation of a fix that essentially does nothing while also doing a bunch of unnecessary things.
    The fix needs to address Meltdown (which primarily affects Intel chips), but instead of just doing so across the board, it makes the whole fix something the user or administrator has to opt into at boot. Why even ask, if this is such a huge vulnerability? And why do it at such a low level when future CPUs will supposedly not require it, at which point the choice would be at best unnecessary and at worst misleading or lead to performance issues?
    Meanwhile, a bunch of other things are added in the same patch that Torvalds points out are redundant with existing solutions, for instance adding protections against an exploit already mitigated by Google Project Zero's "retpoline" technique.
    Why do this? Torvalds speculates that a major part of Intel's technique, in this case "Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation" or IBRS, is so inefficient that to roll it out universally would result in widespread performance hits. So instead, it made the main Meltdown fix optional and added the redundant stuff to make the patch look more comprehensive.

    More at:
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