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SubjectRe: [PATCH 00/18] prevent bounds-check bypass via speculative execution
On Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 5:09 PM, Dan Williams <> wrote:
> Quoting Mark's original RFC:
> "Recently, Google Project Zero discovered several classes of attack
> against speculative execution. One of these, known as variant-1, allows
> explicit bounds checks to be bypassed under speculation, providing an
> arbitrary read gadget. Further details can be found on the GPZ blog [1]
> and the Documentation patch in this series."
> This series incorporates Mark Rutland's latest api and adds the x86
> specific implementation of nospec_barrier. The
> nospec_{array_ptr,ptr,barrier} helpers are then combined with a kernel
> wide analysis performed by Elena Reshetova to address static analysis
> reports where speculative execution on a userspace controlled value
> could bypass a bounds check. The patches address a precondition for the
> attack discussed in the Spectre paper [2].
> A consideration worth noting for reviewing these patches is to weigh the
> dramatic cost of being wrong about whether a given report is exploitable
> vs the overhead nospec_{array_ptr,ptr} may introduce. In other words,
> lets make the bar for applying these patches be "can you prove that the
> bounds check bypass is *not* exploitable". Consider that the Spectre
> paper reports one example of a speculation window being ~180 cycles.
> Note that there is also a proposal from Linus, array_access [3], that
> attempts to quash speculative execution past a bounds check without
> introducing an lfence instruction. That may be a future optimization
> possibility that is compatible with this api, but it would appear to
> need guarantees from the compiler that it is not clear the kernel can
> rely on at this point. It is also not clear that it would be a
> significant performance win vs lfence.
> These patches also will also be available via the 'nospec' git branch
> here:
> git:// nospec

It appears that has not mirrored out the new branch. In
the meantime here's an alternative location: nospec

If there are updates to these patches they will appear in nospec-v2,
nospec-v3, etc... branches.

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