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posted by takyon on Monday January 07 2019, @06:03PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the leak-or-flood? dept.

Some of the computer security boffins who revealed last year's data-leaking speculative-execution holes have identified yet another side-channel attack that can bypass security protections in modern systems.

While side channel attacks like Spectre and Meltdown exploited chip design flaws to glean privileged information, this one is hardware agnostic, involves the Windows and Linux operating system page cache, and can be exploited remotely, within limits.

In a paper provided to The Register in advance of distribution early next week through ArXiv, researchers from Graz University of Technology, Boston University, NetApp, CrowdStrike, and Intel – Daniel Gruss, Erik Kraft, Trishita Tiwari, Michael Schwarz, Ari Trachtenberg, Jason Hennessey, Alex Ionescu, and Anders Fogh – describe a way to monitor how certain processes access memory through the operating system page cache.

"We present a set of local attacks that work entirely without any timers, utilizing operating system calls (mincore on Linux and QueryWorkingSetEx on Windows) to elicit page cache information," wrote the researchers. "We also show that page cache metadata can leak to a remote attacker over a network channel, producing a stealthy covert channel between a malicious local sender process and an external attacker."


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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday January 07 2019, @06:30PM (6 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday January 07 2019, @06:30PM (#783282)

    Must be odd to be a white-hat security researcher : As soon as you show people how good you are at something, they make sure you can't do it again, and you have to find a new flaw to exploit.
    The crowning achievement of those guys would be having their skills being completely useless because the world agrees that they were right, and fixes all related issues.

    I'm glad for them that pervasive terrible coding is keeping food on their tables.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @06:40PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @06:40PM (#783287)

      No different than fixing up my house. As soon as something goes wrong I take the time to research more-durable / higher-quality repairs so that I won't have to fix x again. Hoping to work myself out of that job while I can still repair my house (eventually will fail due to old age?)

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by fyngyrz on Monday January 07 2019, @07:12PM (3 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 07 2019, @07:12PM (#783301) Journal

        ...eventually will fail due to old age

        Oh, come now. That's just so negative. You could also fail by falling severely ill, getting arrested, or suffering a terrible accident while young!

        --
        No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @07:42PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @07:42PM (#783321)

          Thanks for the laugh!

          > You could also fail by falling severely ill, getting arrested, or suffering a terrible accident while young!

          (Un)fortunately, I've got the genes for a long life (both parents) and I'm well past the adventurous years of youth that might result in arrest or youthful accident.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08 2019, @05:15AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08 2019, @05:15AM (#783561)

            Meteor strike?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08 2019, @07:06PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08 2019, @07:06PM (#783794)

              Would you like to do the math?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @09:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @09:23PM (#783382)

      Hmm, it is maybe like academia: You build your reputation by getting papers published, then who gives a fuck what happens afterwards.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 07 2019, @09:13PM (2 children)

    Fucking tech reporters. I come looking for a remotely exploitable bug and find out they meant remotely exploitable if you've already gained access to run arbitrary code on the box. My fridge is not remotely exploitable if it requires another person or machine inside my house to throw beers from the fridge out the window to the attacker.

    --
    When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday January 07 2019, @11:39PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday January 07 2019, @11:39PM (#783466) Journal

      Did you take tips from Tim the Toolman Taylor? 'cause I don't think your Refrigerator is supposed to be throwing things.

      --
      "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
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