Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Following on from Meltdown and Spectre: TU Graz researchers discover new security flaws

15.05.2019

ZombieLoad and Store-to-Leak Forwarding impact on the security of Intel computer processors. The patches developed last year are ineffective, so new updates and security solutions will be necessary.

ZombieLoad and Store-to-Leak Forwarding are the names of the new exploits which have just been announced by TU Graz security researchers Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Michael Schwarz and an international team. The three computer scientists were together with TU Graz Professor Stefan Mangard part of the team which discovered the serious security flaws Meltdown and Spectre last year.


Following the discoveries of Meltdown and Spectre, TU Graz researchers Michael Schwarz, Daniel Gruss and Moritz Lipp (from left) have uncovered two serious new security flaws in computer processors.

© Lunghammer - TU Graz

ZombieLoad

ZombieLoad uses a similar approach to Meltdown. In order to enable faster processing, computer systems prepare several tasks in parallel, before discarding the ones that are either not needed or for which the necessary permissions have not been given. Due to the way processors are designed, they always have to pass on data, even if it is not correct.

The check for permission only happens once sensitive processing steps, which depend on assumptions made by the computer system, have already been prepared. “In the split second between the command and the check, using this new form of attack we can see the pre-loaded data from other programs,” explains Gruss. In other words, the researchers can read what the computer is currently processing.

The KAISER patch developed by a team at TU Graz provided a simple solution for Meltdown, which affected the speed of a computer. Coming up with a solution for ZombieLoad attacks could be more difficult, says Gruss:

“Every CPU has multiple cores, and each of these cores is also split in two. This means several programs can run simultaneously. We think that one of these two parts of each core has to be disabled.” That would mean a 50% drop in performance. Or in clouds, which are also vulnerable to this method of attack, 50% fewer potential users on the same hardware.
All processors developed by Intel that were manufactured between 2012 and the beginning of 2018 are affected. More information: https://zombieload.com/zombieload.pdf

Store-to-leak forwarding

Store-to-leak forwarding also reads pre-loaded data by exploiting the efficient way in which computer processors function. “The computer assumes that I want to use the data which I have just written to the processor again right away. So it keeps it in the buffer for faster access,” explains Gruss. This functionality can also be used to determine the architecture of the computer processor and find the exact location where the operating system is running. “If I know exactly where the processor is running the operating system, then I can launch targeted attacks against flaws in the operating system.” More information: https://cpu.fail/store-to-leak.pdf

New updates urgently required

The researchers immediately reported their discoveries to Intel, which has been working on a solution ever since. “Computer users should install all new updates without delay to ensure that their systems are protected,” recommends Gruss.

The research was funded by the ERC project Sophia, the project DESSNET and the project ESPRESSO as well as by a donation from the manufacturer Intel.

Research partners:
Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Michael Schwarz, Claudio Canella und Lukas Giner – Graz University of Technology (TU Graz)
Daniel Moghimi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jo Van Bulck, imec-DistriNet, KU Leuven
Julian Stecklina, Cyberus Technology
Thomas Prescher, Cyberus Technology

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Graz University of Technology ( TU Graz)
Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications
Inffeldgasse 16a, 8010 Graz, Austria
www.tugraz.at

Daniel GRUSS
Ass.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. BSc
Phone: +43 316 873 5544
Email: daniel.gruss@iaik.tugraz.at

Moritz LIPP
Dipl.-Ing. BSc
Phone: +43 316 873 5563
Email: moritz.lipp@.iaik.tugraz.at

Michael SCHWARZ
Dipl.-Ing. BSc
Phone: +43 316 873 5537
Email: michael.schwarz@.iaik.tugraz.at

Originalpublikation:

https://zombieload.com/zombieload.pdf
https://cpu.fail/store-to-leak.pdf

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tugraz.at/en/tu-graz/services/news-stories/media-service/singleview/...

Barbara Gigler | Technische Universität Graz

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Innovative concept for future IT applications: physicists discover new type of spin waves
13.05.2019 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Hummingbird robot uses AI to soon go where drones can't
10.05.2019 | Purdue University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

Im Focus: New teeth: Highly rigid – and ready for immediate use

Significantly improved glass ceramics

The demands placed on a dental prosthesis are high: it should look natural, endure accidental biting on cherry pits – and if possible, the patient should be...

Im Focus: Researchers take a step towards light-based, brain-like computing chip

Researchers from the Universities of Münster (Germany), Oxford and Exeter (both UK) have succeeded in developing a piece of hardware which could pave the way for creating computers which resemble the human brain. The scientists produced a chip containing a network of artificial neurons that works with light and can imitate the behaviour of neurons and their synapses. The network is able to “learn” information and use this as a basis for computing and recognizing patterns. As the system functions solely with light and not with electrons, it can process data many times faster than traditional systems. The study is published in “Nature”.

A technology that functions like a brain? In these times of artificial intelligence, this no longer seems so far-fetched - for example, when a mobile phone can...

Im Focus: First demonstration of antimatter wave interferometry

An international collaboration with participation of the University of Bern has demonstrated for the first time in an interference experiment that antimatter particles also behave as waves besides having particle properties. This success paves the way to a new field of investigations of antimatter.

Matter waves constitute a crucial feature of quantum mechanics, where particles have wave properties in addition to particle characteristics. This...

Im Focus: Quantum sensor for photons

A photodetector converts light into an electrical signal, causing the light to be lost. Researchers led by Tracy Northup at the University of Innsbruck have now built a quantum sensor that can measure light particles non-destructively. It can be used to further investigate the quantum properties of light.

Physicist Tracy Northup is currently researching the development of quantum internet at the University of Innsbruck. The American citizen builds interfaces...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A nerve cell serves as a “single” for studies

15.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Princeton scientists bioengineer a cellular speedometer

15.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Relay station in the brain controls our movements

15.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>