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Old 11-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #1
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Arrow Researchers Working Toward Processor-Specific Attacks

With the disappearance of an OS monoculture, attackers would do well to find attacks that are neither OS or application specific. One way to do that, of course, is to target attacks at hardware, rather than software. Now research out of Frances Ecole Superiore d'Informatique, Electronique, Automatique (ESIEA) moves a step closer to that goal: identifying a method for isolating the processor used by anonymous systems for the purpose of subverting that hardware.
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Thanks to Slashdot for covering this.
Old 11-11-2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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OK, just how practical is it to base an attack on hardware? Aren't most modern OSes pretty adept at keeping userspace and hardware at arms length? And isn't running the ID process going to be OS dependent?
Old 11-11-2010, 02:01 PM   #3
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It's harder to "patch" hardware (it can be done, but microcode updates are fairly rare) so hardware-based exploits will probably last longer. OTOH, I suspect that they will have somewhat distinct signatures that a good IDS will be able to easily detect.

It'll be a while before this is practical. And even once it is, I suspect that browsers & webapps will still give more bang for the buck.


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