Academic researchers today disclosed details of the newest class of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel processors that impacts all modern chips, including the chips used in Apple devices.
After the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown processor vulnerabilities earlier last year that put practically every computer in the world at risk, different classes of Spectre and Meltdown variations surfaced again and again.
Now, a team of security researchers from multiple universities and security firms has discovered different but more dangerous speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs.
The newly discovered flaws could allow attackers to directly steal user-level, as well as system-level secrets from CPU buffers, including user keys, passwords, and disk encryption keys.
Speculative execution is a core component of modern processors design that speculatively executes instructions based on assumptions that are considered likely to be true. If the assumptions come out to be valid, the execution continues, otherwise discarded.