BranchScope: New CPU Side-Channel Attack Discovered

Delaware, USA – March 28, 2018 – Four academics from US universities published research that describes a new CPU side-channel attack on systems with Intel processors. The new attack named BranchScope and is very similar to the second variant of the Spectre attack but unlike it BranchScope targets process that chooses branches of operations to execute. The researchers successfully tested this attack on Sandy Bridge, Haswell and Skylake processors. More information about the BranchScope attack can be found in the document:

Intel believes that the patches already issued for the Spectre attack mitigation protects against this attack, and continue working with researchers to determine the severity of the discovered attack.

It also became known that Microsoft’s January security update, designed to protect against the Meltdown attack, opened the possibility for malware on Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 systems to gain administrative privileges and retrieve any information from memory. In March Patch Tuesday, Microsoft patched this issue.

You can track remediation progress, determine the impact of Specter and Meltdown flaws and identify vulnerable assets in your organization with SIEM Use Cases and Specter & Meltdown Dashboard for Qualys.