Serious Intel Core 2 Vulnerabilities

Lead OpenBSD developer Theo de Raadt has mentioned some problems with Intel’s Core 2 processors that “will *ASSUREDLY* be exploitable from userland code.” Here’s an easy to view (i.e., non-PDF) image of the errata list.

Theo adds:

At this time, I cannot recommend purchase of any machines based on the Intel Core 2 until these issues are dealt with (which I suspect will take more than a year). Intel must be come more transparent.

(While here, I would like to say that AMD is becoming less helpful day by day towards open source operating systems too, perhaps because their serious errata lists are growing rapidly too).

He says that serious problems could (or will) persist because “some are things that every operating system will do until about mid-2008, because that is how the MMU has always been managed on all generations of Intel/AMD/whoeverelse hardware.” Out of the 20-30 bugs that can’t be worked around by operating systems, Theo says he’d be willing to bet money at least two or three of them is exploitable.

The thread is available here.

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