INTEL CPU BUG

Intel_logoIt seems that Intel CPUs have a problem with the way they handle address space randomization and the prefetch logic.

Its now known that Intel, AMD, Apple ARM, and Qualcomm processors are all affected by the problem. IBM Power CPU products are also affected.

The security nightmare of having keys and passwords in the open is enough to give anyone fits.

The Kernel Page Table is the problem. It is supposed to be isolated but for some reason the prefetch is not checking the table.

Unfortunately a core firmware update cannot fix this type of problem. The core logic itself is flawed as the out of order execution is implemented in the integer instruction pipeline.

More recent Intel processors from the Haswell (4th-gen) era onward have a technology called PCID (Process-Context Identifiers) enabled and are said to suffer less of a performance hit.

Every operating system, Windows, Linux, BSD and so on all need to be patched to work around the problem. The performance hit can range from 5-30% depending on the CPU model and the cache architecture etc.

The problem is seen on every CPU Intel has made for the past 10 years at least.

We have noticed problems galore with Intel CPUs so this comes as no surprise when a OS core is booted and no exceptions are tossed when expected. Embedded systems are widely used and this problem is an example of why CPU design has to be more carefully considered.

The media is calling this problem the Meltdown and Spectre depending on the point of view. The move to sandbox all applications has been growing over time as a way to block malware generally.

CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715 are for the Spectre and CVE-2017-5754 is the Meltdown.

Gaming should not be affected much at all. Corporate machines like web servers will be slightly affected and heavy disk based operations will be worst off.

TABLE OF AFFECTED PROCESSORS

  • Intel® Core™ i3 processor (45nm and 32nm)
  • Intel® Core™ i5 processor (45nm and 32nm)
  • Intel® Core™ i7 processor (45nm and 32nm)
  • Intel® Core™ M processor family (45nm and 32nm)
  • 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 5th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 6th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 8th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • Intel® Core™ X-series Processor Family for Intel® X99 platforms
  • Intel® Core™ X-series Processor Family for Intel® X299 platforms
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 3400 series
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 3600 series
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 6500 series
  • Intel® Xeon® processor 7500 series
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v2 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v3 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v4 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v5 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E3 v6 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 v2 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 v3 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 v4 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 v2 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 v3 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 v4 Family
  • Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family
  • Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor 3200, 5200, 7200 Series
  • Intel® Atom™ Processor C Series
  • Intel® Atom™ Processor E Series
  • Intel® Atom™ Processor A Series
  • Intel® Atom™ Processor x3 Series
  • Intel® Atom™ Processor Z Series
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor J Series
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor N Series
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor J Series
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor N Series

 

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