You may recall that in 2018 two major security flaws were identified within Intel processors. Namely, Meltdown and Spectre. It was an issue that took them a significantly long period of time to resolve. Towards the end of the year, however, it looked like things were (relatively) back on track. The security issues were repaired! Well, that’s what we thought at least!
In a report via TheNextWeb, a brand new security issue has surfaced that has reportedly been existent in all Intel processors manufactured since 2012. One that could potentially allow access to the very core of your system!
Like the prior security flaws, this new one (that has yet to get a specific name) is believed to also largely involve the kernel memory. Some have even called it an off-shoot of Spectre.
In it’s simplest terms, a flaw exists within the speculative execution aspect of the processor design. A part that looks to essentially predict what the next likely calculation/action will be. Having this information pre-loaded into the kernel, however, it can reportedly be accessed to potentially allow a malicious user to swap between the kernel mode and user mode memory rings.
So, in other words, it can gain access to the core of your system. This is found in Intel processors which supports the SWAPGS protocol which has existed since 2012. In other words, if you own an Intel processor, you likely have this exploit.
While this does sound rather worrying, the good news is that this issue has already been fixed and is been implemented via updates on your operating system. This has, for example, been corrected in the Windows 10 July update.
So, despite this flaw being there, if you regularly update your system, then this issue has likely already been repaired. If not, then (like it or not) an update might be advisable! It is, after all, better to be safe than sorry!
What do you think? Do you own an Intel processor? In addition, do these flaws worry you? – Let us know in the comments!
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