Sebastian Österlund and Stephan van Schaik will give an in-depth talk on the Intel’s new vulnerability at OFFZONE 2019

Sebastian Österlund and Stephan van Schaik will give an in-depth talk on the Intel’s new vulnerability at the second international conference on practical cybersecurity OFFZONE 2019.

Intel Product Security Center published several new side channel vulnerabilities called «Microarchitectural Data Sampling». The RIDL speculative execution attacks allow attackers to leak confidential data across arbitrary security boundaries on a victim system, for instance compromising data held in the cloud or leaking your information to malicious websites.

«Speculative execution bugs in modern CPUs popped up out of nowhere, but the worst of the nightmare appears to be over. While Spectre-style attacks will be with us forever, a variety of mitigations have been implemented to protect us against Intel CPU vulnerabilities such as Meltdown and Foreshadow. Browser vendors have implemented process isolation, and Intel even have silicon fixes in their latest CPUs. Do you feel safe?», — said Stephan van Schaik.

«We destroy these mitigations by taking a skeptical look at their assumptions, and reveal that unprivileged userspace applications can steal data by simply ignoring security boundaries — after all, what do address spaces and privilege levels mean to Intel’s CPU pipeline? Using our RIDL attacks, we’ll steal secrets from SGX using just a bit of JavaScript in a web browser, grab /etc /shadow from another VM without even thinking about the hypervisor in the middle, and despair about our speculatively executed future», — commented Sebastian Österlund.

Sebastian Österlund is a Ph.D. student in the Systems and Network Security Group (VUSec) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His interests include memory safety, operating systems defenses, and Fuzzing. Previously he has worked on kMVX, a comprehensive kernel defense against information leaks using multi-variant execution, and more recently has worked on finding software bugs through directed fuzzing.

Stephan van Schaik is a PhD student in the VUSec group at the VU University in Amsterdam. He is interested in the low-level side of computer science with a focus on computer micro-architectures, embedded hardware and operating systems, and more specifically how these can be exploited within software-based attacks. Before pursuing his PhD, he published two papers while doing his MSc at VUSec: «A Framework for Reverse Engineering Hardware Page Table Caches» at EuroSec’17 about reverse engineering the proprieties of page table and translation caches in contemporary CPUs, and «Malicious Management Unit: Why Stopping Cache Attacks in Software is Harder Than You Think» at USENIX Security ’18 that shows that you can use the MMU in a confused-deputy attack to bypass all existing software-based cache defenses to perform a cache attack.