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Intel chips are vulnerable to whole new family of attacks

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Academics from all over the world have teamed up with cybersecurity researchers from Bitdefender to uncover an entirely new class of vulnerability in Intel's processors, ZDNet reported earlier this week.

The flaw, called Load Value Injection (LVI), is best described as a reverse-Meltdown

Meltdown takes advantage of the speculative operations feature built into modern Intel chips, which improves efficiency by guessing which data the CPU will need next. Any data that is not required is then discarded.

Whereas Meltdown allows the hacker to read data from the CPU’s memory while it is processing speculative operations, LVI allows the hacker to inject code inside the CPU and execute as a temporary operation.

Intel has already released firmware patches and prepared fixes for future silicon, even though the flaws are at this stage only theoretical.

"This type of attack is particularly devastating in multi-tenant environments such as enterprise workstations or servers in the data centre, where one less-privileged tenant would be able to leak sensitive information from a more privileged user or from a different virtualised environment on top of the hypervisor," said Bitdefender.

While the LVI vulnerability has only so far been found in Intel chips, researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility AMD and ARM chips could suffer from the same flaw.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.