Foreshadow Vulnerability Puts Intel CPUs at Risk

Today’s topics include Intel SGX at risk from the Foreshadow speculative execution attack, and an RSA report showing rogue mobile apps are leading to a global rise in fraud.

Security researchers revealed last week the L1 Terminal Fault vulnerability, dubbed "Foreshadow," which could potentially enable an attacker to extract privileged information from vulnerable CPUs, hypervisors and even Intel Software Guard Extensions secure enclave technologies.

Foreshadow is the latest in a series of side-channel vulnerabilities that have been reported in 2018. There are two key variants of the flaw, with one attack focused on Software Guard Extensions, or SGX, and the other, which has been dubbed Foreshadow Next Generation, enabling the exploitation of information that is in a CPU's Level 1 cache that can enable exploitation of Intel's system management mode and hypervisors.

Intel has already taken steps to protect its customers, including implementing "microcode updates released earlier this year, coupled with corresponding updates to operating system and hypervisor software that are available” now.

RSA released its 15-page second-quarter 2018 fraud report on Aug. 14, finding that once again phishing attacks are the primary attack vector for fraud. The report covers the period from April 1 to June 30 and is based on data collected by the RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence team.

Among the top trends identified in the report is that phishing accounted for 41 percent of all fraud attacks seen by RSA in the second quarter and 28 percent of fraud was attributed to some form of mobile application.

During the quarter, RSA also detected 9,185 rogue apps, which are defined in a number of ways, including fake and lookalike applications that aim to deceive users by thinking they are associated with or built by a legitimate, trusted brand.