Intel Ice Lake suffering from system crash causing bug

Posted on Monday, Jun 15 2020 @ 10:50 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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JetBrains, the developer of IntelliJ, one of the most widely used IDEs for Java development, discovered that Intel's Ice Lake processors contain a bug that can cause system crashes and possibly more. IntelliJ users report that when using the IDE, systems with Intel's 10nm Ice Lake processors are experiencing random system crashes on both the Windows and Mac platform.

TechPowerUp writes it doesn't appear to be a software bug but an issue with Intel's Ice Lake architecture. At the moment, there's no response from Intel but chips with the latest microcode update are vulnerable to this. It looks pretty grave as this bug could potentially be used to compromise systems. Based on the bug reports, this is a chip-level bug that breaks virtual machine isolation.
It seems like the IntelliJ IDE has a specific sequence of instructions that trigger Ice Lake CPUs to crash OS. This behavior is concerning as this could be used for a possible exploit. Again, cloud providers are at risk here as if you crash the system the whole instance could crash. Of course server Ice Lake parts are yet to arrive, but the bug could be hidden in the core of the CPU design.

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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