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Intel Server-Grade CPUs Impacted by New NetCAT Attack

By ZDNet

September 16, 2019

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Researchers at Vrije University in the Netherlands described a new exploit targeting Intel central processing units (CPU) that support Data-Direct I/O Technology (Intel DDIO) and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) features.

The NetCAT side-channel attack against remote, networked systems is facilitated when both features are enabled, allowing hackers to deduce certain kinds of data being processed in the CPU's cache.

The technique looks for slight variations in how long the CPU needs to process data, then guesses what data may have been processed.

The Intel DDIO and RDMA features affect the NetCAT hack through network packets sent to a computer's network card; Intel DDIO permits peripherals to directly access write data inside the cache, rather than random-access memory, while RDMA can accelerate networking speed and throughput to make the attack more efficient.

A patch for this exploit is not yet available.

From ZDNet
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