* Posts by Maelstorm

11 posts • joined 14 Jun 2015

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

Maelstorm

Re: Old is new again?

Actually, because of the design of the SPARC processor, it is immune to Meltdown. To be technical, unlike x86, SPARC processors have a separate TLB (Translation Lookaside Buffer) for kernel pages only. That's the source of the slowdown on x86. With the kernel fully removed from the process address space, a full context switch is needed because now you are fully switching address spaces, and the TLB contents are dumped. For a TLB miss, it takes 2-5 memory accesses to read in a page table entry, and at roughly 20ns access time compared to sub 1.0ns access time for a cache hit, you are looking at a performance hit that is two orders of magnitude slower than a cache hit. In case you are wondering, the TLB is the cache that is used by the memory management unit for translating virtual addresses into physical addresses.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Maelstorm
FAIL

A better question...

A better question to ask is what other flaws has Intel been hiding from us? They apparently knew about this for awhile. Evidence from Linux sources show as much since July or so when the developers started working on the fix.

Anyone remember the Pentium F00F bug? That's the one where any user in any operating mode can halt the processor in a denial of service attack. The only way to recover the system was to hit the big red button labeled 'RESET'.

Or how about the FPU bug where six entries from a lookup table took a permanent vacation and screwed up floating point calculations? That one cost Intel USD $400,000,000 to fix.

Intel's recent statement about other CPU vendors being vulnerable was pointed directly at ARM and AMD. ARM, to it's credit as stated that some of their chips have the problem as well. AMD has come out and flat said they are not vulnerable. It seems to me that Intel is trying to make others look bad (especially AMD) so they don't stink as much.

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Maelstorm

Re: Hmmm...

"did you mean, eh, crippling AMD ?? you bet, it will happen how come that AMD would be faster ? impossible !!!!11!!1!!!"

If that happens, I can safely guarantee that AMD will not be quiet about it. Lawsuit anyone?

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Maelstorm

Re: Intel Inside...

"Hmm, good timing... I bought a new PC just before Christmas and decided to go AMD after about a decade of Intel..."

Good call. I just bought a new laptop myself and went with AMD as well. It's going to be some time before updated chips from Intel come out as this is a hardware problem with speculative instruction execution on the pipeline. Hardware means that Intel will have to redo all the masks that are used for the fabrication process.

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Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

Maelstorm

No, it's not

Calm down people. This is not a MS-BSD or a Microsoft version of FreeBSD. It is just Microsoft releasing Azure Cloud Services (ACS) software for the FreeBSD operating system. The same thing was said back a few months ago when they did the same thing for Linux. From what I understand, it's just a few device drivers so FreeBSD will run under Hyper-V, and the ACS software that runs on top of the kernel. They did the same thing with Linux, specifying Debian Linux (although I think Ubuntu has made that list as well) as the tested and endorsed platform.

So, nothing to see here folks, calm down and move along.

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Death to DRM, we'll kill it in a decade, chants EFF

Maelstorm

Re: Beware TTIP and other nasty treaties

And the moment that someone is unable to play a 1990's era DVD or a home video on said device, all hell will break loose.

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Slander-as-a-service: Peeple app wants people to rate and review you – whether you like it or not

Maelstorm

Here in the US....

The moment someone is denied a job based on this...app...there will be a line of lawyers waiting.

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It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Maelstorm

Re: Seen it too

Watch it. We still have a AMD Athlon 700 MHz Slot A computer that is still running. Rock solid hardware even though it's severely dated. Nowadays, it's running Linux and is being used as a test bed for software builds before deployment onto the network. It's had a couple of new HDDs over the past 15 years.

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Wikipedia’s biggest scandal: Industrial-scale blackmail

Maelstorm

Re: Citation needed.

Do you have a link?

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Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

Maelstorm

Good for him.

Good for him. I would actively try to contact the blackmailer and tell them to go ahead because I don't care. I would add an nice f-off as well. So trying to blackmail someone who is single who is looking for some broad to bang only proves one thing: That someone is human.

Big deal.

NEXT!

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Hey kids, who wants to pwn a million BIOSes?

Maelstorm

Then you have the other issue with motherboard manufacturers. (cough)Giga(cough)byte(cough) actually discourages BIOS updates. The manual states:

"Since a BIOS update is an inherently risky procedure, it should not be done unless you are experiencing a bug. If you are not, then it should not be done."

So, what's a user to do when the mobo manufacturer makes a statement like that? Myself, I tend to ignore it. But the dual BIOS setup is nice as there is a backup BIOS that will reflash the main BIOS to get the system up and running on a failed or corrupt BIOS.

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