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An extremely severe security flaw has been found to affect nearly every Intel processor made in the past decade or more, giving any hackers who might know how to exploit it access to protected information systemwide. The Register reports that programmers are rushing to make the sweeping changes necessary to protect against the vulnerability on Linux and Windows operating systems, with such fixes required on macOS as well. Even worse, you can expect these vital updates to noticeably slow down your computer.
the fix requires extremely deep and wide-reaching changes at the root levels of an operating system's software—changes that could impact performance of Intel machines by as much as 30 percent.
The impact of this will vary depending on the workload. Every time a program makes a call into the kernel—to read from disk, to send data to the network, to open a file, and so on—that call will be a little more expensive, since it will force the TLB to be flushed and the real kernel page table to be loaded. Programs that don't use the kernel much might see a hit of perhaps 2-3 percent—there's still some overhead because the kernel always has to run occasionally, to handle things like multitasking.
But workloads that call into the kernel a ton will see much greater performance drop off. In a benchmark, a program that does virtually nothing other than call into the kernel saw its performance drop by about 50 percent; in other words, each call into the kernel took twice as long with the patch than it did without. Benchmarks that use Linux's loopback networking also see a big hit, such as 17 percent in this Postgres benchmark
While Intel systems are the ones known to have the defect, they may not be the only ones affected. Some platforms, such as SPARC and IBM's S390, are immune to the problem, as their processor memory management doesn't need the split address space and shared kernel page tables; operating systems on those platforms have always isolated their kernel page tables from user mode ones.
But others, such as ARM, may not be so lucky; comparable patches for ARM Linux are under development.
originally posted by: intrptr
Undetected for over a decade? Who believes that?
What we don't know, yet, is just how much kernel memory information can be leaked to user programs or how easily that leaking can occur. And which Intel processors are affected?
Again it's not entirely clear, but indications are that every Intel chip with speculative execution (which is all the mainstream processors introduced since the Pentium Pro, from 1995) can leak information this way.
originally posted by: MindBodySpiritComplex
originally posted by: schuyler
Realistically, how many people have EVER been affected by this? And how many will be? "Horriffic"? Really?
Affected by the flaw? A minority. Affected by the patch? Pretty much everyone via OS update!
originally posted by: SR1TX
What if this is how the DNC was hacked from the inside? By one of our own?