Intel “Bug”

All of a sudden there is an Intel lynch mob forming, upset about potential security holes in Intel architecture processors. These holes involve the use of the side effects of predictive or speculative execution, such as loading data and instructions into caches or buffers, to infer information.  By measuring execution timings, attackers can determine what was loaded or not loaded and thereby extract information. This forms what is called a covert channel between attacker and victim.

The search for, and elimination of, covert channels has been going on for many years as a battle between hackers and designers of hardware and software. This is just one more.  No big deal in my opinion. But it seems these days everyone is an architecture expert.

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