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NetHammer

Nethammer: Inducing Rowhammer Faults through Network Requests

(Submitted on 13 May 2018)

A fundamental assumption in software security is that memory contents do not change unless there is a legitimate deliberate modification. Classical fault attacks show that this assumption does not hold if the attacker has physical access. Rowhammer attacks showed that local code execution is already sufficient to break this assumption. Rowhammer exploits parasitic effects in DRAM to modify the content of a memory cell without accessing it. Instead, other memory locations are accessed at a high frequency. All Rowhammer attacks so far were local attacks, running either in a scripted language or native code. In this paper, we present Nethammer. Nethammer is the first truly remote Rowhammer attack, without a single attacker-controlled line of code on the targeted system. Systems that use uncached memory or flush instructions while handling network requests, e.g., for interaction with the network device, can be attacked using Nethammer. Other systems can still be attacked if they are protected with quality-of-service techniques like Intel CAT. We demonstrate that the frequency of the cache misses is in all three cases high enough to induce bit flips. We evaluated different bit flip scenarios. Depending on the location, the bit flip compromises either the security and integrity of the system and the data of its users, or it can leave persistent damage on the system, i.e., persistent denial of service. We investigated Nethammer on personal computers, servers, and mobile phones. Nethammer is a security landslide, making the formerly local attack a remote attack.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.04956

 

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Automated Detection, Exploitation, and Elimination of Double-Fetch Bugs using Modern CPU Features

Automated Detection, Exploitation, and Elimination of Double-Fetch Bugs using Modern CPU Features
Michael Schwarz, Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Clémentine Maurice, Thomas Schuster, Anders Fogh, Stefan Mangard
(Submitted on 3 Nov 2017)

Double-fetch bugs are a special type of race condition, where an unprivileged execution thread is able to change a memory location between the time-of-check and time-of-use of a privileged execution thread. If an unprivileged attacker changes the value at the right time, the privileged operation becomes inconsistent, leading to a change in control flow, and thus an escalation of privileges for the attacker. More severely, such double-fetch bugs can be introduced by the compiler, entirely invisible on the source-code level. We propose novel techniques to efficiently detect, exploit, and eliminate double-fetch bugs. We demonstrate the first combination of state-of-the-art cache attacks with kernel-fuzzing techniques to allow fully automated identification of double fetches. We demonstrate the first fully automated reliable detection and exploitation of double-fetch bugs, making manual analysis as in previous work superfluous. We show that cache-based triggers outperform state-of-the-art exploitation techniques significantly, leading to an exploitation success rate of up to 97%. Our modified fuzzer automatically detects double fetches and automatically narrows down this candidate set for double-fetch bugs to the exploitable ones. We present the first generic technique based on hardware transactional memory, to eliminate double-fetch bugs in a fully automated and transparent manner. We extend defensive programming techniques by retrofitting arbitrary code with automated double-fetch prevention, both in trusted execution environments as well as in syscalls, with a performance overhead below 1%.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01254

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ARMageddon

ARMageddon: Last-Level Cache Attacks on Mobile Devices
Moritz Lipp, Daniel Gruss, Raphael Spreitzer, Stefan Mangard

In the last 10 years cache attacks on Intel CPUs have gained increasing attention among the scientific community. More specifically, powerful techniques to exploit the cache side channel have been developed. However, so far only a few investigations have been performed on modern smartphones and mobile devices in general. In this work, we describe Evict+Reload, the first access-based cross-core cache attack on modern ARM Cortex-A architectures as used in most of today’s mobile devices. Our attack approach overcomes several limitations of existing cache attacks on ARM-based devices, for instance, the requirement of a rooted device or specific permissions. Thereby, we broaden the scope of cache attacks in two dimensions. First, we show that all existing attacks on the x86 architecture can also be applied to mobile devices. Second, despite the general belief these attacks can also be launched on non-rooted devices and, thus, on millions of off-the-shelf devices. Similarly to the well-known Flush+Reload attack for the x86 architecture, Evict+Reload allows to launch generic cache attacks on mobile devices. Based on cache template attacks we identify information leaking through the last-level cache that can be exploited, for instance, to infer tap and swipe events, inter-keystroke timings as well as the length of words entered on the touchscreen, and even cryptographic primitives implemented in Java. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applicability of Prime+Probe attacks on ARM Cortex-A CPUs. The performed example attacks demonstrate the immense potential of our proposed attack techniques.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.04897

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