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SubjectRe: Avoid speculative indirect calls in kernel
On Wed 2018-01-03 15:51:35, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 3:09 PM, Andi Kleen <> wrote:
> > This is a fix for Variant 2 in
> >
> >
> > Any speculative indirect calls in the kernel can be tricked
> > to execute any kernel code, which may allow side channel
> > attacks that can leak arbitrary kernel data.
> Why is this all done without any configuration options?
> A *competent* CPU engineer would fix this by making sure speculation
> doesn't happen across protection domains. Maybe even a L1 I$ that is
> keyed by CPL.

Would that be enough?

AFAICT this will be pretty tricky to fix; it looks like you could
"attack" one userland application from another. Probing does not have
to work on L1 cache level; even main memory has "state".

It seems that complete fix would be considering any cache modification
and any memory access as a "side effect" -- so not okay to do

But that sounds... quite expensive for the performance...?

(cesky, pictures)
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