Saturday, June 24, 2017
Search
  
Submit your own News for
inclusion in our Site.
Click here...
Breaking News
Google Promises to Stop Reading Your Emails in Gmail
BlackBerry's Software and Services Sales Fell in Q1
Handsets Expected to be Largest Market for ICs
G.SKILL Announces New DDR4 for the Intel X299 HEDT Platform
Toshiba Open to Further Talks With Western Digital About Chip Unit Sale
Foxconn Confirms US Investment Plan
Tesla Could Enter the Music-Streaming Business
Youtube Unveils New VR180 Format
Active Discussions
Which of these DVD media are the best, most durable?
How to back up a PS2 DL game
Copy a protected DVD?
roxio issues with xp pro
Help make DVDInfoPro better with dvdinfomantis!!!
menu making
Optiarc AD-7260S review
cdrw trouble
 Home > News > General Computing > Study: ...
Last 7 Days News : SU MO TU WE TH FR SA All News

Monday, May 16, 2005
Study: Intel's hyperthreading could expose servers


Intel's hyperthreading technology could allow a hacker to steal security keys from a compromised server using a sophisticated timing attack, a researcher said Friday in a paper presented at the BSDCan 2005 conference.

Hyperthreading allows software to take advantage of unused execution units in a processor. It essentially allows two separate processes, or software threads, to execute on a single processor at the same time, improving performance on software written to take advantage of the technology. However, by taking advantage of the fact that the processes share access to a chip's cache memory, a malicious user can determine the security keys to a particular computer by monitoring the cache for those keys, said Colin Percival, an independent researcher, in a paper posted to his Web site.

Intel and several software companies are working on a fix for the problem, but they do not consider it a critical issue, an Intel spokesman said.

Percival presented his paper Friday in Ottawa at BSDCan, a Canadian conference for developers working with the BSD operating system, a version of Unix. While Percival discovered the flaw while running the FreeBSD operating system, the exploit will work on all operating systems that support Intel chips with hyperthreading, he said in his paper. Percival could not be immediately reached for comment following his presentation.

Processors use cache memory to store frequently accessed data close to the CPU (central processing unit), where it can be quickly accessed for improved performance. On Intel's Pentium 4 and Xeon processors, both of which feature hyperthreading, the cache is divided into portions known as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3.

A single-threaded processor usually clears the processor's L1 cache of all operating instructions in a process before it moves onto the next process. But a certain amount of instructions from one process remain in the cache of a hyperthreading processor while the next process is running, allowing one process to learn the partial contents of the other process, he said.

Therefore, a malicious user could eventually learn the security key of a system by waiting for that key to execute and then using the other thread to obtain portions of the key, Percival said. With enough repetition, most of the bits of the key can be learned, and the complete key determined through a probability analysis, he said. This type of exploit is known as a timing attack.

Hyperthreading processors also ship on desktop PCs, but this particular flaw is only a problem for servers, Percival said on his Web site. More information is available at http://www.daemonology.net/hyperthreading-considered-harmful/

Howard High, an Intel spokesman, said the company had been informed of the problem prior to the publication of the paper and it is working with software vendors such as Microsoft and Red Hat to fix the issues. But the flaw affects any processor that shares resources in the same manner as hyperthreading, not just Intel's chips or hyperthreading-enabled chips, he said.

The flaw is not considered critical, but it will be fixed in subsequent updates to the Microsoft and Linux operating systems, High said.

The flaw only works on servers that have already been compromised through a separate attack, High said. And if a user's server has already been compromised, there are far easier and less time-consuming exploits that would allow a malicious attacker to gain control or a system or steal data, he said.


Previous
Next
AOpen launches "top" Cinema AV PC at Computex        All News        Nintendo opens 1st specialized game store in New York
Single chip 802.11a/b/g solution to become mainstream     General Computing News      Microsoft to slim down Windows XP for older PCs

Source Link Get RSS feed Easy Print E-Mail this Message

Related News
Intel to Bring Virtual Reality and 5G to Olympic Games
First Intel Core X-Series Processors Pre-Orders Begin Today, Available Starting June 26
Microsoft Used AI to Help Crack Down on Tech Support Scams
Intel Details "mesh" On-chip Interconnect Technology Features in New Intel Xeon Scalable Processors
Intel Invests in Three AI Companies
Microsoft AI Masters Pac-Man
Intel Showcases PC Gaming and VR Experiences at E3, Announces Intel Grand Slam for Esports and Pre-Orders for Core X-series Processor Family
LG Establishes New Robotics and AI research Divisions
Intel is Threatening ARM and Microsoft For Emulating x86 ISA
Intel Adds the DC P4501 Low-Power NVMe SSD to Enterprise Lineup
Google to Retire the AlphaGo AI Program
Apple is Building AI Chip for iPhone

Most Popular News
 
Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2017 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .