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SubjectRe: DRAM unreliable under specific access patern
On Wed 2014-12-24 09:38:22, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 9:25 AM, Pavel Machek <pavel@ucw.cz> wrote:
> > On Wed 2014-12-24 09:13:32, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> >> On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 8:38 AM, Pavel Machek <pavel@ucw.cz> wrote:
> >> > Hi!
> >> >
> >> > It seems that it is easy to induce DRAM bit errors by doing repeated
> >> > reads from adjacent memory cells on common hw. Details are at
> >> >
> >> > https://www.ece.cmu.edu/~safari/pubs/kim-isca14.pdf
> >> >
> >> > . Older memory modules seem to work better, and ECC should detect
> >> > this. Paper has inner loop that should trigger this.
> >> >
> >> > Workarounds seem to be at hardware level, and tricky, too.
> >>
> >> One mostly-effective solution would be to stop buying computers
> >> without ECC. Unfortunately, no one seems to sell non-server chips
> >> that can do ECC.
> >
> > Or keep using old computers :-).
> >
> >> > Does anyone have implementation of detector? Any ideas how to work
> >> > around it in software?
> >> >
> >>
> >> Platform-dependent page coloring with very strict, and impossible to
> >> implement fully correctly, page allocation constraints?
> >
> > This seems to be at cacheline level, not at page level, if I
> > understand it correctly.
> >
> > So the problem would is: I have something mapped read-only, and I can
> > still cause bitflips in it.
> >
> > Hmm. So it is pretty obviously a security problem, no need for
> > java. Just do some bit flips in binary root is going to run, and it
> > will crash for him. You can map binaries read-only, so you have enough
> > access.

> Right. So we're mostly screwed.

Well... We could periodically scrub (every few miliseconds) pages
mapped to userspace. We might be able to do some magic and disallow
cache flushes to userspace programs. We might be able to use
performance metrics to detect heavy readers.

We might be able to reprogram DRAM controller to refresh more often.

Or we may switch to AMD systems as they seem to be less suspectible
:-).
Pavel
--
(english) http://www.livejournal.com/~pavelmachek
(cesky, pictures) http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/blog.html


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