A major kernel vulnerability is going to slow down all Intel processors

TechCrunch | 1/3/2018 | Romain Dillet
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A significant vulnerability has been discovered in all Intel processor chips and it’s going to have a huge impact going forward. The Register first noticed this major design flaw in Linux kernel patch notes. All operating systems will have to be updated (Linux distributions, Windows, macOS…).

And the worst part is that this patch is going to affect your computer performances. Based on a few benchmarks, The Register thinks computers running Intel chips are going to be slower by 5 to 30 percent.

Vulnerability - Hardware - Bug - Computer - Problem

So what happened exactly? This vulnerability is quite nasty because it’s a widespread hardware bug. Updating your computer can’t make the problem disappear altogether. That’s why operating system vendors are currently redesigning some of the core functionalities of your computer as a workaround.

The bug allows normal user programs to access the protected memory in the kernel. A kernel is the core of an operating system. It’s a process that handles the most sensitive tasks in your system.

Instance - Kernel - Interaction - Application - File

For instance, the kernel controls the interaction between an application and the file system. It’s basically the gatekeeper that is going to allow a program to read and write files. It also manages memory and peripherals, such as your keyboard and your camera.

In other words, the kernel can do everything on your computer by design. But you don’t want the kernel to be compromised — it is one of the most serious attack vectors in modern operating systems.

Interactions - User - Processes

Interactions between user processes...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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