Move over, Meltdown and Spectre. A new “Foreshadow” attack, alternatively called L1 Terminal Fault or L1TF, targets Intel’s Security Guard Extensions(SGX) within its Core chips.
You should be safe, though, if you’ve already patched your PC as part of the earlier Spectre and Meltdown mitigations that rolled out over the course of the year, according to a blog post from Intel, which disclosed the flaw today. Microsoft is also rolling out patches.
Security Guard Extensions, or SGX, were originally designed to protect code from disclosure or modification, according to Intel. It’s a feature that’s included in 7th-generation Core chips and above, as well as the corresponding Xeon generation. According to Intel, it “remains protected even when the BIOS, VMM, operating system, and drivers are compromised, implying that an attacker with full execution control over the platform can be kept at bay.”
Intel says the L1TF bug, in addition to being addressed by software mitigations, is also being patched at the hardware level with Cascade Lake, an upcoming Xeon chip, as well as future Intel processors expected to launch later this year.
Like Spectre and Meltdown, though, Intel said there’s been no real-world cases of PCs being affected by the bug. In an interesting twist, Intel is working with cloud providers—where uptime and performance is key—to “detect L1TF-based exploits during system operation, applying mitigation only when necessary,” Leslie Culbertson, executive vice president and general manager of Product Assurance and Security at Intel, wrote.
AMD also said in a statement Wednesday that it believes it is not affected by the Foreshadow bugs. “We are advising customers running AMD Epyc processors in their data centers, including in virtualized environments, to not implement Foreshadow-related software mitigations for their AMD platforms,” the company said in a statement.
What this means for you: Patch, patch, patch. As Wired notes, calling the vulnerability “Foreshadow” may be correct, as there have been a number of attacks on Intel’s Core chips—and AMD chips, too—that take advantage of speculative execution. As long as you’re patched up, you should be okay.
If you are not a Managed Service Client of Impress Computers then you should contact your IT Provider to make sure you are all patched up
Article in PCWorld