Researcher set to demo attack on Intel chips

Hacker to demonstrate how to use JavaScript code or TCP/IP packet storms against Intel-based machines.

The author of several security books is slated to demonstrate how he could take advantage of flaws in Intel's chips to launch a remote attack against a computer - regardless of what software platform it's running.

Kris Kaspersky, an IT consultant and the author of Hacker Disassembling Uncovered and Data Recovery: Tips and Solutions, is booked to make the demo at the Hack In The Box Security Conference, slated to be held in October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In a summary of his presentation, Kaspersky wrote that he will show off proof-of-concept code and demonstrate how to use JavaScript code or TCP/IP packet storms against Intel-based machines.

He also charges that such CPU bugs actually have damaged hard drives without users' knowledge.

"Although CPU bugs are not something new in the security industry, nobody has come out with any proof-of-concept exploits," wrote Kaspersky. "It is just a matter of time before we start seeing these sort of attacks used in more devastating ways over the Internet. Intel has provided workarounds to major BIOS vendors for some of these bugs, but who knows which vendor actually uses them? End-users are in the dark as to how to check if they are secure or not. Intel doesn't provide any test program for this and the worst thing is [that] some bugs are still not fixed. In other words, Intel has no workaround for it."

George Alfs, a spokesman for Intel, said he has not yet seen Kaspersky's research, nor has he spoken to him about it.

"We have evaluation teams always looking at issues. We'll certainly take a look at this one," said Alfs. "All chips have errata and there could be an issue that needs to be checked. Possibly. We'd have to investigate his paper."

Alfs said the first step for Intel will be to get a copy of Kaspersky's paper and then discuss his research with him. Then Intel would conduct its own tests. He would not say whether Kaspersky contacted Intel before going public with his findings.

In his presentation summary, Kaspersky, who does not work for Kaspersky Labs, noted that some of the flaws that he will show off are exploitable via common instruction sequences and by knowing the mechanics behind certain JIT Java-compilers.

"If his allegations are true, then computers from personal computers to servers, are at risk," said Dan Olds, a principal analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group.

"These allegations are serious, and, if true, certainly a cause for concern. Just the fact that this is being widely publicized will act as an enticement for hackers to exploit the alleged weaknesses in the processors. That said, I believe that the author may be entering into the land of hyperbole when he says that these bugs can be exploited regardless of operating system or other security measures. That certainly needs to be proven."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?