SpectreRSB is yet another CPU side-channel attack

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 24 2018 @ 11:39 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers from University of California, Riverside (UCR) discovered another Spectre-class attack. Called SpectreRSB, this attack abuses the speculative execution feature that's used by all modern processors. In particular, the new strain recovers data belonging to other processes from the Return Stack Buffer (RSB), and can even be used to spill SGX secrets.

SpectreRSB not only affects Intel, AMD, and ARM processors, but also bypasses all mitigations that were rolled out for Spectre and Meltdown.
The difference from previous Spectre-like attacks is that SpectreRSB recovers data from the speculative execution process by attacking a different CPU component involved in this "speculation" routine, namely the Return Stack Buffer (RSB). Previous Spectre attacks have targeted the branch predictor unit or parts of the CPU cache.

In the grand architecture of a CPU, the RSB is a component that is involved in the speculative execution routine and works by predicting the return address of an operation the CPU is trying to compute in advance, part of its "speculation."
More details at Bleeping Computer.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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