The next generation Intel processors i.e. the Xeon processors (Cascade Lake) and 8th generation Intel Core processors will be redesigned for protection against Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability.
These two vulnerabilities were discovered last year, and most of the computerized devices suffered from these vulnerabilities. So here’s how Intel attempted to redesign and protect the CPUs from Spectre.
What Are Spectre and Meltdown Vulnerabilities?
Last year researchers discovered some major security flaws in the CPUs that were manufactured in the past 20 years. These vulnerabilities allowed attackers get complete access to the passwords and keys stored on a computer. They were later classified into two categories namely Spectre and Meltdown. Almost all the major chip manufacturing companies like Intel, ARM, and AMD had this issue in their respective processors.
Speculative execution is a process that allows processors to predict the next function of a user and allows the processor to process faster. This predicted sensitive information is momentarily easier to access, which allowed attackers to initiate speculative execution process and gather the information that they wanted. Meltdown gathered this information through a computer’s operating system.
How The Manufacturers Responded
Most of the manufacturers started fixing these issues, as and when they came across these issues. Intel and major chipset makers released security patches for their servers and processors. Apple also initiated the process of fixing the issue by releasing mitigations for the Meltdown Flaw.
So Next Generation Intel Processors
Despite the fact that these security patches have solved the issue to some extent, they are not the ultimate solution to completely overcome the vulnerability. So, Intel is introducing hardware protection against the CPU flaw.
The company is advancing new levels of protection through partitioning, which will work as an extra protection layer between applications and users privilege levels. This will prove beneficial for protection against Spectre. On the other side, Meltdown users still have to rely on firmware updates.
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