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Author Topic: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue  (Read 5198 times)

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Offline robi

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Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« on: January 03, 2018, 04:29:45 am »
"All Intel Processors Made in the Last Decade Might Have a Massive Security Flaw"
https://gizmodo.com/report-all-intel-processors-made-in-the-last-decade-mi-1821728240
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/
https://www.postgresql.org/message-id/20180102222354.qikjmf7dvnjgbkxe@alap3.anarazel.de

I'm really starting to loose my trust in Intel. First ME, than this. Oh and the C2000 series bug...
I used to use AMD CPUs in the past, I switched to Intel about 15 years ago because AMDs tended to overheat etc. while Intels looked more trustworthy, they costed more but had less compromises at that time than AMDs (the era of Athlons and Durons).
I wonder how do AMDs perform these days...? I definitely intend to start looking at AMDs in my next projects....

Anyways, the big questions are:
- do we get (and when) a kernel update to pfSense to address this issue
- how much performance decrease should we espect. Thinking here of Atoms especially, C2000 series (like the famous Supermicro A1SRi-2758F and its brothers board, used by thousands of us in pfSense)

Offline ivor

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 04:36:53 am »
No FreeBSD patches as yet.
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Offline robi

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 04:42:09 am »
Hmm. I really hope if there will be such a patch, performance loss will only affect Intel CPUs; KPTI (Kernel Page Table Isolation) routine would only be activated if the processor is detected as being an Intel...

Offline ivor

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 04:56:37 am »
This is a brand new issue so we don't have much of information yet.
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Offline Hugovsky

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 11:15:07 am »
Intel is just becoming more and more disappointing. I think it's time to start looking to AMD or others...

Offline Chrismallia

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 01:35:44 pm »
 AMD's performance is so far behind that even 30% slower the Intel is still faster  and I suspect they have their own issues.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 01:41:34 pm by Chrismallia »

Offline robi

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 01:46:28 pm »
AMD's performance is so far behind that even 30% slower the Intel is still faster  and I suspect they have their own issues.
I'm afraid that depends on what type of tasks the CPU has to perform. For example I've got several HP T5730 thin clients equipped with AMD Sempron 2100+ CPUs at 1GHz, they do WAN/LAN NAT-ing at full interface speed between VLANs (1Gbit/s/2) at only 60% CPU usage. Intel Atoms from that era are nowhere compared to Semprons.

Offline Chrismallia

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 01:54:18 pm »
"I'm afraid that depends on what type of tasks the CPU has to perform. For example I've got several HP T5730 thin clients equipped with AMD Sempron 2100+ CPUs at 1GHz, they do WAN/LAN NAT-ing at full interface speed between VLANs (1Gbit/s/2) at only 60% CPU usage. Intel Atoms from that era are nowhere compared to Semprons."

Thats good to know, thanks for the info

Offline Hugovsky

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 02:36:29 pm »
If I have to trade speed for security, I choose security every time. With Intel, it used to be a win-win but, with recent news... I just don't believe it so blindly anymore. Of course AMD is not the cure to all your problems but it sure starts to seem a little better.

Offline KOM

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 02:48:00 pm »
Quote
AMD's performance is so far behind that even 30% slower the Intel is still faster  and I suspect they have their own issues.

From what I have read, AMD's latest Threadripper CPUs are giving Intel a run for their money, and they're cheaper.  As for issues, unless you have something concrete then you can't really make that claim.  I've seen others saying the same thing on other tech forums, that this Intel bug is bad but AMD might maybe perhaps possibly have something as bad or worse.  It's pure FUD.

Offline Hugovsky

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Offline Hugovsky

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 05:03:27 pm »

Offline ivor

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 06:10:53 pm »
Our preliminary assessment of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities suggests that most pfSense use cases without untrusted local users or a multi-tenant context should not be concerned.

Once the FreeBSD project issues a patched release, we will incorporate those patches, test, and release new versions of pfSense.
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Offline mikeisfly

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 08:08:54 pm »
From my understanding of the problem all x86 processors are effected but the AMD processors have the ability to turn off the branch prediction feature. It would seem to me that if some bioses can be updated to turn this feature off on Intel Processors than the problem can be minimized without the 5% performance hit. We all want speed and putting the Kernel page file and user page file in the same space was a way for them to achieve this. I don't really think it's fair to blame Intel. Security is really hard and I would say the problem is really at the OS level. OS makers are working on the fix now so I would say everyone is doing their job. I would imagine in the future Intel processors will have the ability to turn the branch prediction off which will fix this issue.

Offline VAMike

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Re: Intel CPUs Massive Security Flaw issue
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 10:57:28 pm »
From my understanding of the problem all x86 processors are effected but the AMD processors have the ability to turn off the branch prediction feature. It would seem to me that if some bioses can be updated to turn this feature off on Intel Processors than the problem can be minimized without the 5% performance hit. We all want speed and putting the Kernel page file and user page file in the same space was a way for them to achieve this. I don't really think it's fair to blame Intel. Security is really hard and I would say the problem is really at the OS level. OS makers are working on the fix now so I would say everyone is doing their job. I would imagine in the future Intel processors will have the ability to turn the branch prediction off which will fix this issue.
Turning off branch prediction would be a much more significant performance hit. The impact of KPTI is felt on code with a lot of system calls, and has close to zero impact on code that stays in user land. Killing branch prediction would impact everything.

It's also worth pointing out that this isn't a kernel-specific issue, and that side channel attacks can impact any program that tries to isolate untrusted code. (For example, a browser running javascript.) The kernel mitigations don't fix all of those other programs--and AMD CPUs are impacted by this just as much as Intel CPUs.