Researchers conducted research on popular processors revealed a Specter type vulnerability that would result in a voluminous performance loss if they were shut down.
Since Intel’s Specter and Meltdown vulnerabilities, processor vulnerabilities continue to be found regularly.
A study by researchers from the University of Virginia and the University of California revealed the gap in current processors.
Accordingly, the deficit, which is considered to be the Specter variant, is based on the microprocessing cache used in AMD processors since 2017 and Intel chips manufactured since 2011.
The vulnerability, which allows malicious people to obtain sensitive data, is quite terrifying when the processor tries to pull commands from the low-end cache.
Protection from vulnerability and bulky performance loss by clearing iTLB
According to the researchers, there are several ways to protect yourself from the vulnerability. One of them is clearing the micro operations cache on domain migrations. On the other hand, in order to completely delete the micro-cache in modern processors, Translation Lookaside Buffer (iTLB) also needs to be cleared – a technique that enables the process of address translation in processors using Active Pages Cache – which requires the processor to wait for the iTLB to fill before it can resume operations. a way to lead to massive performance loss.
Another way is based on dividing the micro operations cache according to privileges. On the other hand, excessive partitioning of this cache of the processor, which is at a very low level, is an application that will reduce the efficiency of the cache and eliminate the performance gain that the cache was designed from the very beginning by engineers.
Another method is to develop a system to observe anomalies in transactions, which is a very open way to misclassification, which again tends to result in significant performance loss.
Experts have informed AMD and Intel of the vulnerability in advance, but no microcode update or OS-level patch has yet been released. Moreover, the Specter-focused measures up to now are also ineffective against the new variant.
On the positive side of all this, in order to benefit from the micro-operation cache-focused vulnerability in practice, the necessary malware must perform a very specific attack after passing all software and hardware-based measures. Therefore, the newly reported Specter vulnerabilities are not expected to cause widespread weaknesses.