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  • Foreshadow/L1TF: Another highly publicized Intel flaw, complete with its own web site and logo

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Foreshadow/L1TF: Another highly publicized Intel flaw, complete with its own web site and logo

    This topic contains 22 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Noel Carboni 1 month, 1 week ago.

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    • #210620 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      You’re going to see a whole bunch of explainers about this, yet another Meltdown/Spectre-class vulnerability in Intel processors. Intel’s FAQ lists ju
      [See the full post at: Foreshadow/L1TF: Another highly publicized Intel flaw, complete with its own web site and logo]

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210629 Reply

      zero2dash
      AskWoody Lounger

      Yet another vulnerability that has yet to be exploited but will certainly usher in more botched updates and widespread panic.

      Meanwhile, as you always mention, Woody, we’re here and still there are no known Spectre or Meltdown exploits either, but plenty of botched updates and widespread panic went around there too.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #210663 Reply

        anonymous

        If 8 and 9YO kids ability to hack the USA voting system is indicative of the level of internet security for sites, does a hacker need to write code for a well-publicised already patched exploit?

        • #210665 Reply

          Kirsty
          AskWoody MVP

          I believe it was 11-year olds… 😉

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #210853 Reply

            anonymous

            Interesting, but it looks like a publicity stunt more than anything.  The sites bypassed only showed results, and had nothing directly to do with casting votes.  Likewise the sites created for the test hacks”mimicked” official sites.  Considering the hack took 10 minutes, chances are the kids were running fully completed scripts and just updating the information they wanted to put in.

            Still a great learning experience for the kids, but it sends the wrong message.  The sites’ security could actually be pretty good, but either due to insider knowledge of the systems (eg, one of the coordinators worked on it) or due to making assumptions or adding an non-existent exploit on the “mimicked” site they can make a non-obvious exploit seem straightforward.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210651 Reply

      Sessh
      AskWoody Lounger

      I feel even more that these vulnerabilities have been known for a very, very long time and that they are now being used as part of a coordinated scare campaign to cripple the performance of older processors/OS’s in order to make people upgrade to new hardware and a new (Microsoft) OS.  It’s pretty transparent to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m right. I don’t really believe much in coincidences when they line up this perfectly. I’m sure they’ve had plenty of time to come up with a plan to use this “crisis” as a tool to manipulate even more people and generally use it to their advantage.

      I’m sure Windows 7 especially will get a whole bunch of horrible patches that will cripple it’s performance even more while older processors in general will get the same treatment. To me, this is all still GWX with Intel now on the team. Would something that was so terrible be quickly given it’s own logo and website? It seems too obvious that this is all by design and part of a plan being executed. I haven’t regretted my decision to cease updating for a second and I’m glad to be far, far away from this ever expanding mess of manipulation and hysteria.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Sessh.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Sessh.
      8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #210787 Reply

        zero2dash
        AskWoody Lounger

        It’s definitely a push towards Win10, because if you look at old vs new on same hardware, Win10 has almost none of the performance hits post-patch that 7 & 8.1 have. The [air quote] explanation [/air quote] is that Win10 uses the vulnerable architecture of the processor less than the old versions, so it has little to no performance hit.

        It could be true, it could be FUD. All I can pinpoint is that Steve Gibson’s ‘Inspectre’ says all my (vulnerable) CPU’s have “Good” performance in Win10, but “Slower” performance in 7 (unless I disable the protection).

        As the sayings go though, obviously Intel and MS aren’t making more money when people don’t buy new equipment, so your thoughts are definitely plausible. From the customers that I deal with that I build and maintain PC’s and servers for, obviously the FUD is holding some weight (with the uneducated general public) because I have people who think they have to buy new hardware every 2 years or so otherwise their work suffers because their hardware isn’t up to snuff anymore. (Obviously this is not true, and I educate where I can – but some people buy new hardware anyway.)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210653 Reply

      Cybertooth
      AskWoody Lounger

      I wonder why, all of a sudden, this year we’ve started to hear about exploits that target flaws in the hardware as opposed to the software.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210657 Reply

      Carl D
      AskWoody Lounger

      Earlier this year I asked the question on another forum: “Will this Spectre/Meltdown fiasco turn out to be the biggest non event in computing history since Y2K?”

      Seems that way from a security point of view, at least. Seeing as nearly a year later there are still no known exploits for either seen ‘in the wild’. I’m suspecting the same applies to most if not all of the numerous security updates we’re seeing every month. But, hey – it keeps the money rolling in for these security companies and allows MS to keep a ‘leash’ on peoples’ computers.

      But, from a botched updates and widespread panic (as zero2dash points out) perspective it seems to biggest computing event we’ve ever seen.

      I still get the impression that this whole ‘circus’ has been deliberately orchestrated to:

      1. (from Intel’s viewpoint): sell lots of new hardware.

      2. (from MS’s viewpoint): help kill off Windows 7 – since the Meltdown/Spectre patches slow down Windows 7 but not Windows 10. How convenient. And, any older 32bit PC/laptop with a processor that doesn’t support SSE2 can’t update W7 past December 2017 without bluescreening. MS were supposed to be fixing this but finally decided not to bother (after several months of procrastinating).

      Almost makes want one to unplug the PC/laptop from the Internet permanently and just use something like a cheap Android tablet for online activities. I have a Samsung tablet that hasn’t seen an update for over 4 years – and, I’ve been using it online quite regularly with no security issues. Funny about that…

      (Edit: I see Sessh also mentioned much the same points. Beat me to it while I was typing my post).

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Carl D.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Carl D.
      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #210670 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        I am truly moved by the extent of the trust people here have on Microsoft.

        And, by the way: Y2K was a non-event thanks to the early warnings and the following massive work done to fix most of the software vulnerable to it.

        Is such also the case here? Would these flaws, known for years, but no big deal until now, suddenly get an upgrade in the risk scale now that the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag and running around in the open, for all to see?

        Has everybody got the tin hat ready?

        7 users thanked author for this post.
        • #210852 Reply

          Jan K.
          AskWoody Lounger

          Agree. Y2K should be kept out of this.

          Never before or since have so much work and money been put into updating software…

          • #211071 Reply

            Noel Carboni
            AskWoody MVP

            And yet, why does it feel like we’re just getting started?

            Remember back in the good ol’ days when using a computer was about the work you had to get done?

            -Noel

      • #210755 Reply

        Pepsiboy
        AskWoody Lounger

        “Will this Spectre/Meltdown fiasco turn out to be the biggest non event in computing history since Y2K?”

        CarlD,
        I am getting to feel the same way. Y2K, Spectre / Meltdown, L1TF. They are designed to spread panic and help to eliminate older hardware and software that WORKS as intended. They ONLY are there to FORCE us to upgrade to something that WE DO NOT WANT OR NEED. There is no reason for us to help increase the bottom line for M$ or Intel when they do not give us what we want or can use.

        Sorry for the rant, but I’m saving up from my limited income to change over everything to Linux.

        Dave

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #210891 Reply

        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody MVP

        Y2K is a very bad comparison. Y2K wasn’t a non event to many who worked on it. And it was a non event because professionals worked on it. I can assure you if I didn’t work on it with my team, our business would have not worked at all when the date changed.

        Y2K considerations was an afterthought in many software. We had to update them all. Our ERP didn’t even start when we simulated Y2K. Also, we had a lot of custom software from the 70s and 80s that had to be adapted to avoid issues.

        Yes, there was a lot of of ridiculous fear spread and crazy ideas, mostly from non technical people. I received a lot of requests to get confirmations we had a plan and wouldn’t be impacted. But at least, everyone worked on the problem or at least verified they were non impacted instead of dismissing it and that is why it ended up being a non event.

        Saying Y2K was nothing to me is like saying the CISO of a company is useless because they don’t have security issues.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210674 Reply

      Carl D
      AskWoody Lounger

      Speaking of Y2K – towards the end of 1999 there was an advertisement in one of our Australian magazines (I think it was in the TV magazine that came with the Sunday paper) where someone was selling Y2K insurance for peoples’ VCR’s (remember those?), microwave ovens, computers, of course and basically anything that had a digital clock in it.

      I had a bit of a laugh at the time but I’ve always wondered if anyone actually took up the offer and paid for it? Had the give the people behind it 10 out of 10 for creativity, at least.

      Better stop now otherwise we might be seeing ads appear for Meltdown/Spectre insurance soon.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #210678 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        Ah, Y2K.. those were the days! But don’t you go on like this, giving people ideas…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #210800 Reply

      anonymous

      I think these flaws aren’t a big issue for clients.  But, for AWS and Azure, I think it could be a huge concern.  It’s scary to think that some random VM that happens to be running on the same box as mine could read my VM’s memory.  This is an argument for avoiding the cloud and keeping your servers local on your own hardware.  So, if it is a conspiracy to spur sales, it’s not all rosy.  Cloud is big bucks and vendors are trying really hard to convince customers that moving into that type of recurring revenue relationship is the best way to go.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #210814 Reply

      anonymous

      Among this talk of the otherwise very plausible idea that the patches and disclosures are orchestrated to push people to buy new CPUs and switch to Win 10, I have another question: Are the new CPUs no longer vulnerable to this, at a hardware level? Because only when that happens, and the OS will also recognize it and keep all of these mitigations disabled so there will be no potential performance hit (or compatibility issues), will there be a real point to get a new CPU. Sure, MS doesn’t have any reason to care, but Intel should be aware that this is the case, right?

      —– Cavalary

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210829 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Why are we seeing these Intel chip vulnerabilities now???

      Well, put your tinfoil hat on. It’s been well known that the NSA has had their hands in OS’s for a long time (they approached Linus about putting a vulnerability in Linux, so it’s no great leap to think that Bill Gates and Microsoft cooperated with the NSA). The NSA has been linked to hacking firmware on your hard drives  (leaked by Kaspersky..oh, that would have NOTHING to do with the US government going after Kaspersky later, eh?).

      Going after the heart of the PC’s, the processor chips, would be the Holy Grail for the NSA.

      So fast forward to April, 2017. That’s when we found out the NSA couldn’t secure their own tools, and their tool set for hacking was leaked to the Shadow Brokers group. That set of hackers (really crackers, which is the proper term for unethical hacking), put sections of those tools up for sale. I would presume someone is buying the tools, which is why we see things like Eternal Blue

      Mr. Snowden, and others (rumors, for the most part), linked the NSA to planting vulnerabilities in Intel/AMD as far back as 2013! But we haven’t seen the threats develop until recently…since the NSA lost control of their hacking tools.

      Co-incidence? Well, we know the NSA would prefer to hack into your PC, instead of spending time breaking encryption. Then again, if you’re not wearing your tinfoil hat, everything is fine, right?

      Right?

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  johnf.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  johnf.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  johnf.
      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #210851 Reply

      abbodi86
      AskWoody MVP

      According to:
      https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/ADV180018

      * Protection for CVE-2018-3620 (L1 Terminal Fault) builds on the protection for CVE-2017-5354 (Meltdown) which is enabled by default on client. Customers that have disabled the protection for CVE-2017-5354 must re-enable it to gain protection for CVE-2018-3620.

      i have disabled the Meltdown protection, yet Get-SpeculationControlSettings shows that L1TF mitigation is enabled
      well, i don’t want it
      but i have not experienced any performance changes, so nevermind 😀

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #211073 Reply

        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody MVP

        Experienced… Or noticed?

        My observation is that most of the time computers are overpowered for what we use them for, and we can’t possibly notice even a significant slowdown. Your computer may be a million times more powerful than what is needed to type things in. Yet other, key times the performance hits mean we literally will wait longer for results. Who pays for that delay?

        -Noel

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #210903 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Great, my own CPU is of 2011 vintage! So am I now the NSA best fried? (Not a typo.)

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  OscarCP.
    • #210959 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Simpsons NSA

      Prism

       

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  johnf.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  johnf.
      1 user thanked author for this post.

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