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By SecureWorld News Team
Wed | Mar 6, 2019 | 12:09 PM PST

A new variant of SPECTRE related bugs affecting Intel core processors has been discovered by security researchers. It's called SPOILER. Cue the alerts.

The Register has the breakdown:

Further demonstrating the computational risks of looking into the future, boffins have found another way to abuse speculative execution in Intel CPUs to steal secrets and other data from running applications.

This security shortcoming can be potentially exploited by malicious JavaScript within a web browser tab, or malware running on a system, or rogue logged-in users, to extract passwords, keys, and other data from memory. An attacker therefore requires some kind of foothold in your machine in order to pull this off. The vulnerability, it appears, cannot be easily fixed or mitigated without significant redesign work at the silicon level.

Speculative execution, the practice of allowing processors to perform future work that may or may not be needed while they await the completion of other computations, is what enabled the Spectre vulnerabilities revealed early last year.

In a research paper distributed this month through pre-print service ArXiv, "SPOILER: Speculative Load Hazards Boost Rowhammer and Cache Attacks," computer scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the US, and the University of Lübeck in Germany, describe a new way to abuse the performance boost.