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#4622759 - 01/03/18 01:33 PM Intel processor bug
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5744
Loc: Illinois
Says any Intel processors made in the last decade is vulnerable.

Python Sweetness

The mysterious case of the Linux Page Table Isolation patches The mysterious case of the Linux Page Table Isolation patches

[Various errors and updates are addressed in Quiet in the peanut gallery]

tl;dr: there is presently an embargoed security bug impacting apparently all contemporary CPU architectures that implement virtual memory, requiring hardware changes to fully resolve. Urgent development of a software mitigation is being done in the open and recently landed in the Linux kernel, and a similar mitigation began appearing in NT kernels in November. In the worst case the software fix causes huge slowdowns in typical workloads. There are hints the attack impacts common virtualization environments including Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine, and additional hints the exact attack may involve a new variant of Rowhammer.

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#4622806 - 01/03/18 02:18 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36430
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I see the updated errata states "may not affect AMD CPU's". I guess we wait for further clarification?
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#4622816 - 01/03/18 02:29 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: OVERKILL]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
I see the updated errata states "may not affect AMD CPU's". I guess we wait for further clarification?


But will they put these checks in software and check processor or just do the checks regardless.
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#4622844 - 01/03/18 02:55 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36430
Loc: Ontario, Canada
For more detail on the software-side of things, specifically how it is being addressed in Linux, there's a nice thread on the Kernel Developers Mailing list found here . A gentleman from AMD chimes in in another thread indicating that AMD processors aren't susceptible to this bug and asks for their processors to be omitted from the patch. One of the dev's responds indicating that omission may not be a good idea, as not being affected by this bug doesn't mean that future exploits that are similar in nature will except AMD CPU's. Be interesting to see what that officially evolves into.

The biggest issue aside from the vulnerability itself seems to be the performance impact of the patches shrug

Will be interesting to see what, if anything, Intel has to say on the matter.
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#4622855 - 01/03/18 03:10 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3222
Loc: Somewhere
AMD is on the record as saying their CPUs are not vulnerable.

Intel is in damage control mode:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/intel-r...&yptr=yahoo

Hopefully this will reduce their clout tremendously.

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#4622860 - 01/03/18 03:16 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4394
Loc: The Midwest
I had an old Compaq desktop with an AMD Sempron processor that ran 32 bit Linux distros much faster/better than my Gateway gaming desktop that had an Intel Q6600 CPU. Windows was much faster on the Intel chip however.
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#4622866 - 01/03/18 03:23 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3222
Loc: Somewhere
The latest AMD Stuff is freakin' awesome. Built a Ryzen 7 1700 system and it flies. Load up a few VM's and it doesn't know they are there.

EPYC is using less power and killing it in high performance workloads and in datacener type stuff.

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#4622901 - 01/03/18 03:58 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
28oz Offline


Registered: 04/20/17
Posts: 337
Loc: Utah, USA
Haven't built an Intel based system in probably 15 years. Everything has been AMD. For the price/performance ratio, it's hard to beat AMD.
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#4622951 - 01/03/18 05:01 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2965
Loc: USA
I'm a big Intel fan but it wouldn't hurt for any opportunity to either level out the competition between the 2 majors, or to get a 3rd or 4th company in the mix. I HATE duopoly situations.

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#4622956 - 01/03/18 05:09 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: Reddy45]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36430
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I'm a big Intel fan but it wouldn't hurt for any opportunity to either level out the competition between the 2 majors, or to get a 3rd or 4th company in the mix. I HATE duopoly situations.


There used to be Cyrix, LOL!
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#4622958 - 01/03/18 05:11 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: itguy08]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36430
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: itguy08
AMD is on the record as saying their CPUs are not vulnerable.

Intel is in damage control mode:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/intel-r...&yptr=yahoo

Hopefully this will reduce their clout tremendously.


Yes, I mentioned that above. One of the guys from AMD chimes in about it in the Kernel dev mailing list.

I'll quote him here for the sake of clarity:

Originally Posted By: Tom Lendacky

AMD processors are not subject to the types of attacks that the kernel
page table isolation feature protects against. The AMD microarchitecture
does not allow memory references, including speculative references, that
access higher privileged data when running in a lesser privileged mode
when that access would result in a page fault.

Disable page table isolation by default on AMD processors by not setting
the X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE feature, which controls whether X86_FEATURE_PTI
is set.

Signed-off-by: Tom Lendacky <[email protected]>


From HERE.
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#4622966 - 01/03/18 05:19 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: SHOZ]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
Why am I not surprised about a fundamental hardware level security 'defect' from Intel specifically? :eyesroll:

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#4622981 - 01/03/18 05:34 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: PeterPolyol]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36430
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: PeterPolyol
Why am I not surprised about a fundamental hardware level security 'defect' from Intel specifically? :eyesroll:


It may also affect ARM. I'm waiting for further details to emerge before I cast judgement on Intel.
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#4622982 - 01/03/18 05:34 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: OVERKILL]
xxch4osxx Online   content


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2602
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I'm a big Intel fan but it wouldn't hurt for any opportunity to either level out the competition between the 2 majors, or to get a 3rd or 4th company in the mix. I HATE duopoly situations.


There used to be Cyrix, LOL!
I had a 486DX2-80 Cyrix processor in one of my computers from back in the day. My buddies Intel 486DX2-66 was a faster system playing the same games. I'm an AMD user these days though.
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#4622986 - 01/03/18 05:38 PM Re: Intel processor bug [Re: OVERKILL]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2965
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I'm a big Intel fan but it wouldn't hurt for any opportunity to either level out the competition between the 2 majors, or to get a 3rd or 4th company in the mix. I HATE duopoly situations.


There used to be Cyrix, LOL!



The very first PC our family bought back in the day had a Cyrix processor. Crazy to think how far we have come.

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