Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Intel Discloses Four New Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) Vulnerabilities

New security flaw in Intel chips could affect millions Intel processors hit with another serious security flaw impacting millions of PCs
Emmett Howard | 18 May, 2019, 05:00

The new exploits enable hackers to steal data from a computer by abusing a processor mechanism known as speculative execution.

Chip giant Intel is once again in the security spotlight after researchers found a new set of vulnerabilities with its processors, which if exploited could result in the theft of data directly from the chip itself.

While attacks of this kind are "a very complex undertaking" says Intel, the computing firm has issued microcode patches for vulnerable processors and the flaw will be mitigated in future chip production. This data contains all the information generated by the applications on a machine, including sensitive records such as passwords.

Software fixed for the Zombieload bug are available for computers running Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Although no attacks exploiting the ZombieLoad bugs have been publicly reported, the researchers could not rule them out, because they say an attack would not necessarily leave a trace. In this way, researchers can read what is now being done on the computer in plain text.

The one-sentence takeaway for 99 per cent of people, as mentioned above, is to update your devices right away.

The name "ZombieLoad" refers to a large amount of data which processors can not properly process, leading data to leak from the processor core.

Realme to launch 'Onion' and 'Garlic' special editions of Realme X
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Britney Spears' Longtime Manager Says She May Never Perform Again
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Intel has warned of a quartet of serious security vulnerabilities in processors going back more than a decade, dubbed Microarchitecture Data Sampling (MDS) by Intel and RIDL, Fallout, and ZombieLoad by the researchers which discovered them.

In a message to Gizmodo, an Intel spokesperson said that MDS "is already addressed at the hardware level in many of our recent 8th and 9th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, as well as the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family". The new vulnerability is being called "ZombieLoad".

It is a side-channel attack on Intel chips, allowing hackers to exploit design flaws rather than injecting malicious code.

The only way to protect your computer is to ensure your operating system is up to date.

What that means is that ZombieLoad has been taken care of well and it won't really be easy for just about anyone to exploit the processing loophole. A proof-of-concept video shows how the vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to see what Web sites the user is visiting in real-time. Ultimately, none of that matters in the face of these attacks.

"It's kind of like we treat the CPU as a network of components, and we basically eavesdrop on the traffic between them, "Cristiano Giuffrida, a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam who discovered the MDS attack, told Wired".

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