*

Linux isn't immune

Gustavo Padovan avatar

Posted on 14/03/2018 by Gustavo Padovan

Share this post:

The recent disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre hardware vulnerabilities were unprecedented in the history of computing. They affect a substantial portion of chips powering most of the infrastructure used by our society today.

While software vulnerabilities can be easily repaired with an update, it is a completely different story when it comes to hardware, and the Linux Kernel community had a hard time dealing with them.

The mitigation for Meltdown came in the form of a fundamental change of the kernel memory management through the kernel page-table isolation (KPTI) patch set merged in 4.15-rc6, which isolates the kernel page table from the userspace page table.

Spectre, on the other hand, is much harder to fix, and while initial mitigation exists, more elegant and efficient solutions are yet to be developed. As its name says, Spectre may still haunt us for quite some time.

These issues may be just the first of their kind but they are already causing all of us to be exposed. Too many service providers and product companies have failed and will continue to fail at patching their kernels.

Shifting all industries and sectors toward following the mainline Linux kernel closely is more crucial than ever.

(Originally published in Linux Format magazine, Issue 234, January 2018)

Comments (0)


Add a Comment






Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:


Latest Blog Posts

On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS

18/10/2018

For projects of any value and significance, having a comprehensive automated test suite is nowadays considered a standard software engineering…

Recently in Geoclue

12/10/2018

After I started working for Collabora in April, I've finally been able to put some time on maintenance and development of Geoclue again.…

The beauty of Open Source

10/10/2018

Like all software, Open Source software isn't without it's bugs and issues. However, thanks to the nature of Open Source, resolving or mitigating…

MicroDebConf Brasilia

02/10/2018

Last month, the first "MicroDebConf" took place at the Gama campus of the University of Brasilia. Here's a look at how this one day event…

Virtme: The kernel developers' best friend

18/09/2018

When working on the Linux Kernel, testing via QEMU is pretty common. Here's a look at virtme, a QEMU wrapper that uses the host instead…

Cambridge XMPP Sprint

30/08/2018

Earlier this month, Collabora sponsored & hosted the XMMP Sprint, the first developer event in the XMPP community in a long time. Here's…

Open Since 2005 logo

We use cookies on this website to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website you are consenting to the use of these cookies. To find out more please follow this link.

Collabora Ltd © 2005-2018. All rights reserved. Website sitemap.