from the more-secure-every-day dept.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
A group of researchers from the Systems and Network Security Group at VU Amsterdam have discovered a way to bypass address space layout randomization (ASLR) protections of major operating systems and browsers by exploiting a common feature of computer microprocessors.
"Our attack relies on the interplay between the MMU and the caches during virtual to physical address translation—core hardware behavior that is central to efficient code execution on modern CPUs. We have built a side-channel attack, specifically an EVICT+TIME cache attack, that can detect which locations in the page table pages are accessed during a page table walk performed by the MMU. As a result, an attacker can derandomize virtual addresses of a victim's code and data by locating the cache lines that store the page-table entries used for address translation."
This knowledge allows attackers to successfully execute malicious payloads on the targeted system, instead of crashing it.