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UPDATE: Intel CPU Debug Misinterpretation Leaves Major OS Vulnerable To Exploits

[UPDATE]: A representative from Intel reached out to Segmentnext and has issued a statement detailing that they have updated the Software Developers Manual.

The security of our customers and partners is important to us. To help ensure clear communication with the developer community, we are updating our Software Developers Manual (SDM) with clarifying language on the secure use of the POP/MOV-SS instructions. We recommend that system software vendors evaluate their software to confirm their products handle the situations in question. More information is available here.

Earlier this year Spectre and Meltdown security exploits became public revealing that millions of devices vulnerable to security exploits, however, major OS like Windows, Linux, MAC OS and some implementations of XEN are also vulnerable to exploits due to OS devs misinterpreting Intel CPU debug feature.

The security vulnerability was detailed by CERT which revealed that the misinterpretation of Intel CPU Debug feature has left major OS vulnerable to hacks.

This vulnerability exists due to OS vendors misinterpreting hardware debug mechanism for Intel x86-64 architectures and implementing the feature in the OS according to their understanding. The vulnerability is located in the MOV SS and POP SS instructions of the OS.

According to details, hackers can “gain access to sensitive memory information or control low-level operating system functions” which means that hackers can gain access to kernel memory and hijack the critical code running the system.

However, OS developers have rolled out patches to take care of this issue so we suggest you keep your OS up-to-date if you haven’t already.

Furthermore, the team noted that “unclear and perhaps even incomplete documentation” from Intel could have resulted in this bug or security exploit making into all of the major OS.

Speaking of Intel, the company has halted the production of H310 chipset. According to the report, sources have revealed that the reason why Intel has suspended the production of H310 chipset is the 14nm process.

Also, Intel reportedly will reveal its Discrete GPUs at CES 2019. According to the report, Intel has completed the first phase of the development of its discrete GPUs and are now preparing for a big reveal and launch of the Intel Discrete GPU.

What do you think of this OS bug arising due to misinterpretation of Intel documents? Let us know in the comments.

Source: CERT