Sunday, March 29, 2009
This one delves pretty deep into head-scratching territory, but it looks like the folks at Invisible Things Lab have discovered an exploit that could open the door to some potentially serious attacks on certain Intel CPUs paired with some popular motherboards. Of course, the exploit that they've actually released is completely harmless, but it demonstrates that the CPU cache can be "poisoned" to let folks read and write into the otherwise protected SMRAM memory. As NetworkWorld notes, that could lead to some more nefarious folks developing a SMM rootkit, which would be all the more perilous considering that the user of the infected computer would have no way of detecting the attack. For its part, Intel is apparently well aware of the problem, and it has already fixed the vulnerability on some newer boards like the DQ45, but others still in widespread use (like the DQ35 pictured above) have seemingly been left hanging waiting for a fix of some sort.