New Spectre-like CPU Vulnerability Bypasses Existing Defenses

itwbennett writes: Researchers from security firm Bitdefender discovered and reported a year ago a new CPU vulnerability that ‘abuses a system instruction called SWAPGS and can bypass mitigations put in place for previous speculative execution vulnerabilities like Spectre,’ writes Lucian Constantin for CSO.

There are three attack scenarios involving SWAPGS, the most serious of which ‘can allow attackers to leak the contents of arbitrary kernel memory addresses. This is similar to the impact of the Spectre vulnerability.’ Microsoft released mitigations for the vulnerability in July’s Patch Tuesday, although details were withheld until August 6 when Bitdefender released its whitepaper and Microsoft published a security advisory.