For those desiring to take a trip down Folly Lane here's the (marketing) PDF for DIDO (DIrect Data iO, I think):
Now I am even more terrified of Intel processors than I already was.
It is obviously a performance trick taking DMA over PCI to the next level (most likely for Intel NICs which are already integrated on SOCs) but… my God that takes courage to deploy in any secure network design.
The patch applied fine in #HardenedBSD 12-CURRENT. I'm compiling world + kernel with the patch to test it out on my laptop.
On yet another note I have started dumping my brain on paper due to medical reasons. Almost forty years of hacking which might be eventually of interest to someone.
On a completely separate note from CPU shenanigans the amazing news is that I have two (!!) offers for H||GTFO articles, both by beards greyer than mine, and one of the two is DEC VAX hacking, the other stuff which would have been TS/SC not long ago.
So hoping they’ll deliver!
Fun article about the author discovering a speculative execution bug on the Xbox360.
There’s a moment in Code Rush, the 2000 Netscape documentary where Jamie Zawinski (who should be here?) says, this is a new medium, but if we don’t watch it this could end up like television. It could be controlled by a few big companies. It really hurt the heart.
Speaking of trying out all the emulators, I'm a bit of a fan of those which run in the browser. Full-screen the browser and you get the feeling of just having the machine to yourself. There's a hundred or so catalogued here, from the usual 8bit suspects, to early Unix capable machines, even earlier machines, 16 bit machines - you name it!
Should we stop and realise that we need data-driven security we would be forced to acknowledge the need for a major redesign.
Personally I’m quite fond of tagged designs but I am also looking elsewhere but always in the direction of securing data throughout the system and, possibly, the network.
The problem will just have been moved elsewhere to the next subsystem which was ignored in the original threat model and in the new amended threat model which is just “old threat model” + “side-channels in OoO execution”.
Because of the marketing-driven rush there will be no comprehensive review of the new threat model which includes a network, multi-tenant VMs, etc. Net result: we are playing whack a’mole with security issues in hardware as we are in software.
and, objectively, it wasn’t. Hardware security in the 90’s meant an Atalla cryptographic module or IBM’s Cryptographic Accelerator for the zSeries.
So, what am I trying to say?
At the moment everyone is up in arms about side-channel attacks on speculative execution and they are all barking up the wrong tree.
Allow me to explain: what are we attacking? We are, ultimately, attacking data. Once the chip manufacturers have scrambled to fix this PR nightmare what will be the net result?
For comparison workstations had, at least, SCSI and, in the more extreme configurations, multiple smart SCSI controllers with Fast-Wide-Differential buses. In 1995 “my” Digital 8200 “Turbolaser” had four FWD differential buses connected to smart RAID arrays with 10k RPM Digital-branded Seagate drives. This was 1995…
Now, given the above you would be forgiven for assuming that hardware security was never quite at the core of the problem anywhere…
While processor instruction cycle went beyond Cray levels the I/O around it, including memory, was left behind. There is no way our current SATA is remotely comparably to Cray’s HIPPI or DDRwhatever with Cray’s ECL RAM.
Not only, the push for speed has meant that a lot less design has gone into the periphery until things get desperate (example: ISA - EISA - PCI, ATA - IDE - EIDE - SATA and you might recall the special “bypass” connectors for graphics).