The ghost of CPU security flaws reappears in the form of Spectre-NG

Just as Intel has started to get a handle on managing the Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution security flaws in its contemporary processors, there's a warning about a second wave of related vulnerabilities. German computer magazine c't (a part of Heise) reports that multiple groups of security researchers have clued Intel in on eight unique speculative execution vulnerabilities in its chips. The magazine calls the set Spectre-NG and goes on to say that some or all of these flaws may also be present in ARM processors. The applicability of the flaws to AMD CPUs was said to be less clear. c't did not publish any specific technical details about the problems beyond mentioning that they were all similar to Spectre.

The magazine says each of the eight flaws has a unique Common Vulnerability Enumerator (CVE) number and that each will require its own specific patch. Intel is said to be actively working on two waves of patches for the security flaws. The first round of patches is expected later this month and the second is scheduled for an August release. One particular flaw was discovered by Google's Project Zero researchers and will be revealed Monday, the expiration of the 90-day grace period the team gave to Intel.

c't says that Intel has classified four of the eight vulnerabilities as “high-risk,” while the other four received “medium” ratings. The magazine says that one of the attacks in particular stands out because it could be run in a virtual machine and attack the host system from there. Such a scenario presents immense and immediate risk to cloud host providers and their customers. The author says that such an attack was possible with Spectre, but that the new vulnerability reduces the knowledge of the target system that the attacker needs for success.

The magazine believes that these won't be the last security-related issues to pop up in modern CPU design. Werner Haas, one of the co-discoverers of Spectre, warns that future processors must be designed with security as a priority from the earliest steps in the design process.

Comments closed
    • Mr Bill
    • 1 year ago

    ‘Next Generation’ I get it. But my first thought was “New Ghosts” a la Win NT “New Technology”.

    • blastdoor
    • 1 year ago

    I think we needs to stop blaming the victims. It’s time to bust the ghosts!

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

    • Shobai
    • 1 year ago

    Have we had any update on this? [url=http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/intel-has-to-delays-patches-for-new-spectre-ng-vulnerabilities.html<]Guru of 3D[/url<] thinks Intel's patches may be delayed.

    • kuttan
    • 1 year ago

    Intel CPUs is now full of crap. Did they forget how to make a quality CPU after Sandy Bridge ?

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      Needs more flair.

        • crabjokeman
        • 1 year ago

        And chuckula should know.

    • ramon zarat
    • 1 year ago

    “future processors must be designed with security as a priority from the earliest steps in the design process.”

    Sooooo, security was *NOT* a priority from the earliest steps in the design process ?!? Really???

      • MathMan
      • 1 year ago

      Really.

      What’s more important when you evaluate a CPU to buy: security or performance?

      If you answer “security” you’re different than most.

    • Wilko
    • 1 year ago

    It took this long for some systems to get updates for SpecDown (a BIOS update was just released for some old Dell laptops with Ivy Bridge processors at work). For some others, it took this long to find out update plans were dropped entirely. Can’t wait to see how the patches for this batch of shenanigans pans out.

      • Klimax
      • 1 year ago

      Everybody was starting from zero.

    • Meadows
    • 1 year ago

    Can anyone enlighten me why these people spend time and energy on designing an actual logo for something like this? I’m dying to know.

      • uni-mitation
      • 1 year ago

      To sell clicks.

      uni-mitation

      • Wirko
      • 1 year ago

      Both logos instantly became two of the most recognizable logos related to computing. I’d do that too if I knew how to do it.

        • Meadows
        • 1 year ago

        You didn’t answer the question though.

          • njoydesign
          • 1 year ago

          Since Spectre and Meltdown research came from a Google lab, I think the answer here is simply because they can. We’re talking about a company that does graphic doodles every day for its search page and that has a lot of creative people in its offices.

          Also, it adds to making the product of your company (security research in this case) seem more complete and well presented.

            • MathMan
            • 1 year ago

            The designer of the logo is a student from Austria. The flaws were discovered in parallel by a team of some Austrian university.

            • njoydesign
            • 1 year ago

            nice, he did a good job)

      • MathMan
      • 1 year ago

      These people spent a huge amount of time and effort asking a student to design those logos.

    • uni-mitation
    • 1 year ago

    Everyone knows that Apple computers are immune to ghost types.

    uni-mitation

    • the
    • 1 year ago

    The good news: Intel’s PR department has learned from their mistakes handling Spectre and Meltdown. They are denying a problem but they aren’t going to say anything specific until a fix is ready. This is how it should be when the press gets wind if these things early.

    The bad: this comes in at a time when Intel is vulnerable. Increased comepetition in the data center and still kicking their wounds from the first Spectre/Meltdown release. It would be [i<]speculative[/i<] to discuss further reductions in CPU performance but strategically they can't in the benchmark game. Pre and post patch testing will be interesting. The ugly: it sounds like there is going to be more spectre-like attacks coming.

      • Shobai
      • 1 year ago

      [quote<] still kicking their wounds [/quote<] Ouch! Self-harm is not the answer, Intel.

    • Kretschmer
    • 1 year ago

    This is an OUTRAGE! How dare my data be vulnerable to an exploit!

    *Proceeds to answer 20 Facebook quizzes while installing Bonzai Buddy.*

      • Shobai
      • 1 year ago

      They say you learn something new everyday, and that’s true for me today: “Bonzai is a colloquial name for synthetic cannabis”.

      I can see how that might put you in an exploitable position.

      • meerkt
      • 1 year ago

      BonziBuddy supports x64 browsers?!

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 1 year ago

    Add one more win for AMD.

    Apple will get Intel for pennies by year-end.

    Notable AMD wins for 2018:

    7nm process leadership

    Chipset naming advancements.

    Crippling CPU exploit immunity

    Record revenue

    Ryzen+ domination

      • morphine
      • 1 year ago

      Srsly, bro?

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      You’re SO unoriginal.

      IGTrading said all that first.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 1 year ago

        I wasn’t aware there are several clairvoyants on TR. I am not alone after all.

      • Klimax
      • 1 year ago

      Evidence that AMD is unaffected by these?

      Reminder: AMD got caught by Specters!

        • Shobai
        • 1 year ago

        To be fair, there’s no evidence (as far as we’ve been told) either way regarding AMD.

        As for your other point, “Reminder: AMD was not caught by Meltdown”.

    • K-L-Waster
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]The magazine says that one of the attacks in particular stands out because it could be run in a virtual machine and attack the host system from there. Such a scenario presents immense and immediate risk to cloud host providers and their customers. [/quote<] That sound you heard was the Amazon Cloud Services and Microsoft Azure executives all crying out at once, then being silenced.

      • abiprithtr
      • 1 year ago

      “…then being silenced”

      Didn’t understand that part.
      I understand why they would cry, but why get silenced?

      [b<]Edit[/b<]: Not sure, why the thumbs-down. I genuinely did not get the "then being silenced" part of K-L-Waster's comment. One would think a forum is where people exchange information. But, all the sarcastic comments over the years means now even genuine comments or questions are seen in a suspicious light.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 1 year ago

        May-the-fourth.

        [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKu7TYWNxqA[/url<] "May the 4th" is a pun. A common phrase in the Star Wars universe is "May the Force be with you". So on May the 4th, Star Wars fans from around the internet make star-wars jokes all the time.

          • abiprithtr
          • 1 year ago

          Thanks.
          Lol !

          I watch too much Star Trek.
          Should start my baby steps in Star Wars this year.

            • SlappedSilly
            • 1 year ago

            I waiting for Spectre-DS9

        • ermo
        • 1 year ago

        nvm

          • abiprithtr
          • 1 year ago

          🙂

      • davidbowser
      • 1 year ago

      /shameless corporate shill

      Recall that Google Project Zero was part of the discovery team with the last round of Spectre too. Thus Google Cloud services (GMail, Cloud Platform, etc) were actually patched for over a month prior to the release of the vulnerability.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    C’mon AMD. Where’s that 2800X? I’m itching to buy something but I still play games.

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      Sorry, the 2800X is a Miracle ARM chip and ARM is affected by these bugs.

      • abiprithtr
      • 1 year ago

      I am sorry you were down-thumbed (not by me).

      But the fact that you are not willing to consider the 2700X should have made it obvious to them that you hate AMD. If I were an Intelligent fanboy, I would have given you a +3.

        • K-L-Waster
        • 1 year ago

        If you had any familiarity with Chrispy’s posting history you would know that is complete hooey.

          • abiprithtr
          • 1 year ago

          Oh, first up – I didn’t know it was all hooey.

          I myself was trying to be sarcastic, attacking whoever down-thumbed Chrispy_.
          Didn’t seemed to have worked, obviously.

          And learned a new word today, “hooey”.
          Thanks ! (not being sarcastic)

    • pogsnet1
    • 1 year ago

    I will buy AMD based for my business laptop for sure

      • Shobai
      • 1 year ago

      I guess AMD hopes that you don’t stop at one.

        • Goty
        • 1 year ago

        I mean… that’s probably a significant improvement in market share at this point…

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