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Another Security Flaw Exposed in Intel Processors – Kept Secret for Almost a Year

Computer researchers at KU Leuven have actually once more exposed a security flaw in Intel processors. Jo Van Bulck, Frank Piessens, and also their associates in Austria, the United States, and also Australia offered the supplier one year’s time to repair the issue.

Plundervolt, Zombieload, Foreshadow: in the previous number of years, Intel has actually needed to provide rather a couple of spots for susceptabilities that computer system researchers at KU Leuven have actually aided to subject. “All measures that Intel has taken so far to boost the security of its processors have been necessary, but they were not enough to ward off our new attack,” states Jo Van Bulck from the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven.
Like the previous strikes, the brand-new strategy– referred to as Load Value Injection– targets the ‘vault’ of computer system systems with Intel processors.
“To a certain extent, this attack picks up where our Foreshadow attack of 2018 left off. A particularly dangerous version of this attack exploited the vulnerability of SGX enclaves, so that the victim’s passwords, medical information, or other sensitive information was leaked to the attacker. Load Value Injection uses that same vulnerability, but in the opposite direction: the attacker’s data are smuggled — ‘injected’ — into a software program that the victim is running on their computer. Once that is done, the attacker can take over the entire program and acquire sensitive information, such as the victim’s fingerprints or passwords.”
The susceptibility was currently uncovered on April 4,2019 Nevertheless, the scientists and also Intel consented to maintain it a secret for almost a year. Responsible disclosure stoppages are not uncommon when it pertains to cyber security, although they normally raise after a much shorter amount of time. “We wanted to give Intel enough time to fix the problem. In certain scenarios, the vulnerability we exposed is very dangerous and extremely difficult to deal with because, this time, the problem did not just pertain to the hardware: the solution also had to take software into account. Therefore, hardware updates like the ones issued to resolve the previous flaws were no longer enough. This is why we agreed upon an exceptionally long embargo period with the manufacturer.”
“Intel ended up taking extensive measures that force the developers of SGX enclave software to update their applications. However, Intel has notified them in time. End-users of the software have nothing to worry about: they only need to install the recommended updates.”
What is Intel SGX enable?
Enabling the Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) Use this task to create a protected region of memory that is accessible only by certain authorized functions. Enable this feature only if you have the appropriate Intel driver on your OS. This feature is disabled by default.

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