Downfall Attacks

Downfall is a critical vulnerability found in billions of modern processors, including those used in personal and cloud computers. This vulnerability, identified as CVE-2022-40982, allows attackers to access and steal data from other users who share the same computer or cloud environment. The vulnerability is caused by memory optimization features in Intel processors that inadvertently reveal internal hardware registers to software, making data normally inaccessible to unauthorized programs accessible. The author, Daniel Moghimi, discovered this vulnerability and developed techniques to exploit it, such as Gather Data Sampling (GDS) and Gather Value Injection (GVI). The attacks demonstrated in videos include stealing encryption keys and arbitrary data from the Linux Kernel, as well as spying on printable characters. The FAQ section provides information about the impact of the vulnerability, affected devices, practicality of the attacks, and mitigation efforts. It is highlighted that Downfall affects not only normal isolation boundaries but also Intel SGX, a hardware security feature. The author notes that web browsers theoretically could be exploited remotely, but it would require additional research and engineering. The vulnerability has been present for at least nine years, and Intel is releasing a microcode update to mitigate it, although it may result in up to a 50% performance overhead for some

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