This is very bad news in prospect for many PC and Mac users who have chosen an Intel 64-bit processor. The Santa Clara firm has just indicated that it has designed a patch aimed at filling a critical security flaw . So far nothing alarming, except that this update will also have the effect of significantly affecting the performance of your machine (between 5 and 30% depending on the applications launched).
But why is that? Well, because the identified security flaw would directly affect the management of virtual memory shared between the processes running on the computer and the kernel of the operating system.
If the precise technical details concerning this matter were not disclosed, we learn from The Register that the patch concocted is already available for the Linux kernel. Microsoft should also do against bad luck with a good heart by deploying this most frustrating update on Windows on January 9, through Patch Tuesday. No information has yet been communicated by Apple regarding macOS …
Kernel and user process will now have to be separate rooms …
The execution spaces between the user processes and the kernel – making the interactions between the two entities more fluid – will therefore be separated by the Intel developers in charge of plugging the flaw.
It would indeed seem that the latter leave to possible hackers the possibility of accessing privileged memory areas of the kernel, areas allowing the theft of confidential data (passwords, identifiers, secret keys), but also execution. unwanted code.
It is therefore without any enthusiasm that the creators of the patch had to take drastic measures that had a negative impact on the performance of a considerable fleet of machines. History to give a touch of humor to a very unpleasant situation for everyone, the engineers of Intel began to think of an acronym allowing to easily name the said security breach.
The first ideas they had are worth the detour. It was initially a question of naming the whole “User Address Space Separation” (UASS) or “Forcefully Unmap Complete Kernel With Interrupt Trampolines” (FUCKWIT). A simple “Kernel Page Table Isolation” (KPTI) will finally be retained for obvious reasons of seriousness.
Let's finish by indicating that the AMD fanboys will be able to slash the champagne and take out the confetti, the processors of the Sunnyvale firm not being affected by these potential attacks.