I suspect the OS manufactureres are in a position to do something about
the problem. Most people I know avoid firmware updates like the plague,
and I'm not sure that a firmware update is actually going to solve the
problem. Besides, who would need to do it: chip manufacturers, bios
Cloud makes it worth exploiting. But once the exploit is available, it'll likely be rolled out to all platforms with glee. No additional expense involved.
On 2018-01-08 9:32 AM, Reen, Elizabeth wrote:
True. I had just read the news accounts so I was wondering why O/S manufacturers were making the patches. Neither side is clean here, but it was not really a problem if you had control of the whole server. It’s only really become worth exploiting in the cloud.
CPB Database GroupManager
Service Now Group: CPB-ORACLE-DB-SUPPORT
*From:*oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Hans Forbrich
*Sent:* Friday, January 05, 2018 6:51 PM
*Subject:* Re: Meltdown and spectre
On 2018-01-05 2:33 PM, Reen, Elizabeth (Redacted sender elizabeth.reen for DMARC) wrote:
I have a background in system engineering. I don’t get how a chip
can be exploited. What code can be hacked there?
For speculative execution, a command is executed that MIGHT be required. That command might ask to move stuff into some portion of memory, or need a specific page moved in. If that command is then rolled back, what happens to the memory that it just filled? (Hint: it's still filled in, perhaps with a password.) Back in the day (early 90s) when this stuff was dreamt up, the idea of flushing that memory on command rollback would not have been a concern - hacking was for fun, not profit, in those days. It's not actually the code being hacked, as much as a side effect that is not properly handled.
It wasn't just the hardware guys, either. We s/w devs were pretty sloppy about things like end-of-arrays and random pointers in our code, and few people worried about (or even understood) what happened at the chip level. (Remember why Java came into being?)