Threat Watch

Intel CPUs Affected by SPOILER Vulnerability

All Intel processors are vulnerable to the Spoiler vulnerability, which researchers say can possibly cause more damage than the notorious Spectre vulnerability discovered in early 2018. Although there are similarities, Spoiler is not a Spectre attack. Speculative advantage is used by the flaw to reveal memory layout data. Once this is done, it opens the door for other attacks to be carried out. Attackers can exploit the flaw by planting malicious JavaScript in a browser or running malware on any given system. Even though there are a few ways to exploit the flaw, a limited set of instructions is used to do so. Virtual machines and sandboxes can also be affected by the vulnerability. Intel has been aware of the issue since December but has yet to deploy a working solution, but they are working on it.


Since this a newer vulnerability there are not many mitigation tactics thus far, Intel believes employing side channel safe software may help some of the issues. Until this is confirmed, users are suggested to keep their systems up to date and look for remediations from Intel.