Dragonblood new results
> August 2019 — During our initial disclosure, the Wi-Fi Alliance privately created security recommendations to mitigate our attacks. In these recommendations, they claim that Brainpool curves are safe to use, at least if products securely implement Dragonfly’s quadratic residue test (i.e. it must be implemented without side-channel leaks). However, we found that using Brainpool curves introduces a second class of side-channel leaks in the Dragonfly handshake of WPA3. In other words, even if the advice of the Wi-Fi Alliance is followed, implementations remain at risk of attacks. This demonstrates that implementing Dragonfly and WPA3 without side-channel leaks is surprisingly hard. It also, once again, shows that privately creating security recommendations and standards is at best irresponsible and at worst inept.
That last line.
> RSA is an intrinsically fragile cryptosystem containing countless foot-guns which the average software engineer cannot be expected to avoid. Weak parameters can be difficult, if not impossible, to check, and its poor performance compels developers to take risky shortcuts. Even worse, padding oracle attacks remain rampant 20 years after they were discovered. While it may be theoretically possible to implement RSA correctly, decades of devastating attacks have proven that such a feat may be unachievable in practice.
Defending against transient execution attacks
> It is important to build up a systematic understanding of these attacks and possible defenses
RAMBleed Reading Bits in Memory Without Accessing Them
> RAMBleed is based on a previous side channel called Rowhammer, which enables an attacker to flip bits in the memory space of other processes. We show in our paper that an attacker, by observing Rowhammer-induced bit flips in her own memory, can deduce the values in nearby DRAM rows. Thus, RAMBleed shifts Rowhammer from being a threat not only to integrity, but confidentiality as well. Furthermore, unlike Rowhammer, RAMBleed does not require persistent bit flips, and is thus effective against ECC memory commonly used by server computers.
Private Key Extraction from Qualcomm Hardware-backed Keystores
> A side-channel attack can extract private keys from certain versions of Qualcomm’s secure keystore. Recent Android devices include a hardware-backed keystore, which developers can use to protect their cryptographic keys with secure hardware. On some devices, Qualcomm’s TrustZone-based keystore leaks sensitive information through the branch predictor and memory caches, enabling recovery of 224 and 256-bit ECDSA keys. We demonstrate this by extracting an ECDSA P-256 private key from the hardware-backed keystore on the Nexus 5X.
A year with Spectre: a V8 perspective
> In theory, it would be sufficient to defeat either of the two components of an attack. Since we do not know of any way to defeat any of the parts perfectly, we designed and deployed mitigations that greatly reduce the amount of information that is leaked into CPU caches and mitigations that make it hard to recover the hidden state.
> Fortunately or unfortunately, our offensive research advanced much faster than our defensive research, and we quickly discovered that software mitigation of all possible leaks due to Spectre was infeasible. This was due to a variety of reasons. First, the engineering effort diverted to combating Spectre was disproportionate to its threat level. In V8 we face many other security threats that are much worse, from direct out-of-bound reads due to regular bugs (faster and more direct than Spectre), out-of-bound writes (impossible with Spectre, and worse) and potential remote code execution (impossible with Spectre and much, much worse). Second, the increasingly complicated mitigations that we designed and implemented carried significant complexity, which is technical debt and might actually increase the attack surface, and performance overheads. Third, testing and maintaining mitigations for microarchitectural leaks is even trickier than designing gadgets themselves, since it’s hard to be sure the mitigations continue working as designed. At least once, important mitigations were effectively undone by later compiler optimizations. Fourth, we found that effective mitigation of some variants of Spectre, particularly variant 4, to be simply infeasible in software, even after a heroic effort by our partners at Apple to combat the problem in their JIT compiler.
Dragonblood - Analysing WPA3's Dragonfly Handshake
> One of the main advantages of WPA3 is that, thanks to its underlying Dragonfly handshake, it’s near impossible to crack the password of a network. Unfortunately, we found that even with WPA3, an attacker within range of a victim can still recover the password of the network. This allows the adversary to steal sensitive information such as credit cards, password, emails, and so on, when the victim uses no extra layer of protection such as HTTPS. Fortunately, we expect that our work and coordination with the Wi-Fi Alliance will allow vendors to mitigate our attacks before WPA3 becomes widespread.
Scanning for Padding Oracles
> As you might have heard, we recently got our paper on padding oracle attacks accepted to the USENIX Security Conference. In this paper, we describe and evaluate a scanning methodology with which we found several padding oracle vulnerabilities in devices from various vendors. In total, we found that 1.83% of the Alexa Top 1 Million have padding oracle vulnerabilities.
Browser Side Channels
> Well-known DOM APIs
Only a few dozen issues.
XS-Searching Google’s bug tracker to find out vulnerable source code
> This article is a detailed explanation of how I could have exploited Google’s Monorail issue tracker to leak sensitive information (vulnerable source code files and line numbers) from private bug reports through a XS-Search attack.
SMoTherSpectre: exploiting speculative execution through port contention
> We introduce SMoTherSpectre, a speculative code-reuse attack that leverages port-contention in simultaneously multi-threaded processors (SMoTher) as a side channel to leak information from a victim process. SMoTher is a fine-grained side channel that detects contention based on a single victim instruction. To discover real-world gadgets, we describe a methodology and build a tool that locates SMoTher-gadgets in popular libraries. In an evaluation on glibc, we found more than hundred gadgets that can be used to leak some information. Finally, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept attack against encryption using the OpenSSL library, leaking information about the plaintext through gadgets in libcrypto and glibc.
SPOILER: Speculative Load Hazards Boost Rowhammer and Cache Attacks
> Modern microarchitectures incorporate optimization techniques such as speculative loads and store forwarding to improve the memory bottleneck. The processor executes the load speculatively before the stores, and forwards the data of a preceding store to the load if there is a potential dependency. This enhances performance since the load does not have to wait for preceding stores to complete. However, the dependency prediction relies on partial address information, which may lead to false dependencies and stall hazards.
When worlds collide.
Spectre is here to stay: An analysis of side-channels and speculative execution
HOT TAKE on the recent CPU Bugs
> You weep over the side channel attacks and you curse Intel. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know; that speculative execution, while dangerous, probably saves cores. And my optimizations, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, save cores. You don’t want in order execution because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want the most instructions per cycle.
Page Cache Attacks
> We present a new hardware-agnostic side-channel attack that targets one of the most fundamental software caches in modern computer systems: the operating system page cache. The page cache is a pure software cache that contains all disk-backed pages, including program binaries, shared libraries, and other files, and our attacks thus work across cores and CPUs. Our side-channel permits unprivileged monitoring of some memory accesses of other processes, with a spatial resolution of 4KB and a temporal resolution of 2 microseconds on Linux (restricted to 6.7 measurements per second) and 466 nanoseconds on Windows (restricted to 223 measurements per second); this is roughly the same order of magnitude as the current state-of-the-art cache attacks. We systematically analyze our side channel by demonstrating different local attacks, including a sandbox bypassing high-speed covert channel, timed user-interface redressing attacks, and an attack recovering automatically generated temporary passwords. We further show that we can trade off the side channel’s hardware agnostic property for remote exploitability. We demonstrate this via a low profile remote covert channel that uses this page-cache side-channel to exfiltrate information from a malicious sender process through innocuous server requests. Finally, we propose mitigations for some of our attacks, which have been acknowledged by operating system vendors and slated for future security patches.
The 9 Lives of Bleichenbacher's CAT: New Cache ATtacks on TLS Implementations
> Over the last twenty years researchers and implementors had spent a huge amount of effort in developing and deploying numerous mitigation techniques which were supposed to plug all the possible sources of Bleichenbacher-like leakages. However, as we show in this paper most implementations are still vulnerable to several novel types of attack based on leakage from various microarchitectural side channels: Out of nine popular implementations of TLS that we tested, we were able to break the security of seven implementations with practical proof-of-concept attacks. We demonstrate the feasibility of using those Cache-like ATacks (CATs) to perform a downgrade attack against any TLS connection to a vulnerable server, using a BEAST-like Man in the Browser attack.
Robust Website Fingerprinting Through the Cache Occupancy Channel
ECCploit: ECC Memory Vulnerable to Rowhammer Attacks After All
> Where many people thought that high-end servers were safe from the (unpatchable) Rowhammer bitflip vulnerability in memory chips, new research from VUSec, the security group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, shows that this is not the case. Since prominent security researchers and companies have suggested that ECC provides pretty good protection [1,2,3], and exploitable bitflips on ECC memory are seen by many as the “unholy grail” for Rowhammer attacks, the new attack to reliably flip bits that completely bypass ECC protection is a major step forward in Rowhammer research.
> To answer the research question above, we first needed to fully understand how ECC is implemented. Unfortunately, this is not trivial. In general, CPU manufacturers omit details of ECC implementation. In addition, the closed nature of hardware makes our task even more difficult. Thus, we first reverse engineered several ECC implementations and showed their guarantees. This part of the work was pretty crazy and involved freezing memory chips and transplanting them (“cold boot attack”), sticking syringe needles into the sockets of memory modules to inject errors, and many other techniques besides. Long story short, after a year of probing and analyzing, we finally understood how ECC memory worked in detail.
Return of the Hidden Number Problem
> Despite these mitigations, this work presents a novel side-channel attack against ECDSA and DSA. The attack targets a common implementation pattern that is found in many cryptographic libraries. In fact, about half of the libraries that were tested exhibited the vulnerable pattern. This pattern is exploited in a full proof of concept attack against OpenSSL, demonstrating that it is possible to extract a 256-bit ECDSA private key using a simple cache attack after observing only a few thousand signatures. The target of this attack is a previously unexplored part of (EC)DSA signature generation, which explains why mitigations are lacking and the issue is so widespread.