There has been plenty of (digital) ink spilled in recent days about widespread processor flaws known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre.” We round up five articles that will help you understand these security vulnerabilities, how they were discovered and their likely impact.
Google has come forward to claim responsibility for discovering a pair of serious security holes in Intel processors that run almost 9 in 10 computers in the world. And worse: the company has echoed a statement by Intel yesterday that the flaws are not specific to that company’s chips. Contrary to published reports, a blog post on the Google Security Blog by Matt Linton, a Senior Security Engineer at Google and Pat Parseghian, a Technical Program Manager said that flaws dubbed “Specter” (PDF) and “Meltdown” (PDF) are not limited to chips by Intel, but exist in central processing unit (CPU) chips by a wide range of vendors including Intel, AMD and ARM. Google discovered the flaws The flaws were discovered by Jann Horn, a researcher for Google’s Project Zero security team, discovered the flaw and showed how malicious actors could game a common CPU feature known as “speculative execution” to […]
Security researchers warned of a serious vulnerability in a GPS service by the China-based firm ThinkRace exposes sensitive data in scores of GPS services, more than two years after the hole was discovered and reported to the firm. (Update: added comment from John van den Oever, the CEO of one2track B.V – PFR 1/3/2018)
The University of Michigan announced that it has received a $3.6 million grant to develop hardware based security features that will make Internet connected systems “unhackable.” The grant will fund a project called MORPHEUS, which is developing a means of fending off hackers by turning computer circuits into the equivalent of “unsolvable puzzles,” according to a statement issued by University of Michigan. The grant was issued as part of a $50-million DARPA program to improve cybersecurity by marrying cybersecurity features with hardware rather than software. “Instead of relying on software Band-Aids to hardware-based security issues, we are aiming to remove those hardware vulnerabilities in ways that will disarm a large proportion of today’s software attacks,” says Linton Salmon, manager of DARPA’s System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program. Nine grants have been awarded under the SSITH program, including the $3.6 million of funding for the University of Michigan […]
Microsoft is developing a secure processor for The Internet of Things under the banner of Project Sopris, Wired reports.