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Windows and Linux programmers scrambling to write code to address inherent security bug in Intel CPUs. MacOSX will also need an update.

Posted By: NaturalWisdom
Date: Wednesday, 3-Jan-2018 12:39:07

Design flaw courtesy of the NSA, per Jim Stone.

'Kernel memory leaking' Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign
Other OSes will need an update, performance hits loom

By John Leyden and Chris Williams | The Register UK
2 Jan 2018
Click here

[snip]

A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December.

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features such as PCID to reduce the performance hit. Your mileage may vary.

PostgreSQL SELECT 1 with the KPTI workaround for Intel CPU vulnerability https://t.co/N9gSvML2Fo

Best case: 17% slowdown
Worst case: 23%

Similar operating systems, such as Apple's 64-bit macOS, will also need to be updated the flaw is in the Intel x86-64 hardware, and it appears a microcode update can't address it. It has to be fixed in software at the OS level, or go buy a new processor without the design blunder...

Impact

It is understood the bug is present in modern Intel processors produced in the past decade. It allows normal user programs from database applications to JavaScript in web browsers to discern to some extent the layout or contents of protected kernel memory areas.

The fix is to separate the kernel's memory completely from user processes using what's called Kernel Page Table Isolation, or KPTI. At one point, Forcefully Unmap Complete Kernel With Interrupt Trampolines, aka F*CKWIT, was mulled by the Linux kernel team, giving you an idea of how annoying this has been for the developers.

JIM STONE'S ANALYSIS

SANDY BRIDGE/COREVPRO HAS (FINALLY) BITTEN INTEL IN THE BUTT
http://82.221.129.208/.zm4.html

They produced a porous crappy system on behalf of the NSA that has compromised security at the hardware level (a topic I have brought up repeatedly). Now that all the NSA hackware got released to the public by various hacker groups, Microsoft and Linux developers have realized just how bad the security flaws are and have started writing their software to circumvent the problems that were an NSA inspired root design feature ever since CoreVpro/Sandy Bridge. As a result, it is taking an average of 30 percent of the main processor's power to overcome the security problems of the Vpro core and AMD IS KICKING INTEL GOOD NOW AS A RESULT.

My only surprise with this is that software developers actually cared about the processor being a porous piece of crap. This echoes back a decade now, as it turns out, even though AMD processors trailed Intel by about 10 percent for equivalent models over the last 10 years, now that people realize just how bad the security is on Intel processors, all models of AMD processors are now far more superior to Intel than Intel was ever perceived to be over AMD. Due to knowing how bad the security was on Intel for the last 10 years, I have not bought Intel since the 90's (AMD was superior until the mid 2000's and when Intel "pulled ahead" they had buggable crap)

At any rate, I have been saying this for years, and now an enormous scandal is out in the open, Programmers now realize INTEL IS CRAP. Intel sold out to the NSA and thanks to good hearted hackers it chewed their behinds like a great white.


SOURCE




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