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Thread: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Once a weakness is found it doesn't take long for similar mechanisms to pop up. I have to wonder if Intel/AMD with their inside knowledge of how the chips are wired will already have worked out some of these and are working on workarounds.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018...ction-attacks/

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    U don't see a Moose here! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Thats it!! I am done with all these CPUs - time to go back to the abacus!!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Thats it!! I am done with all these CPUs - time to go back to the abacus!!
    Raspberry Pi 3 is immune, you just need to learn to complete your computing tasks in Scratch

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Raspberry Pi 3 is immune, you just need to learn to complete your computing tasks in Scratch
    And how to port all of the games you want to play, of course...

    Or, see if you can find an mITX board with a pre-Bay Trail Atom, since they're also immune to this kind of attack...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    And how to port all of the games you want to play, of course...

    Or, see if you can find an mITX board with a pre-Bay Trail Atom, since they're also immune to this kind of attack...
    Oh I can find one, I have a D520 on an mini-ITX board on a shelf in the garage because it is so gutless as to be unusable. It was given to me for free by someone who found it so gutless as to be unusable. I could pass it on, but I don't hate anyone enough

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ... I could pass it on, but I don't hate anyone enough
    Wonder how well it'd run an x86 Android image...

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Wonder how well it'd run an x86 Android image...
    The answer is in the phrase "so gutless as to be unusable"

    Honestly, those things benchmark quite well partly because the dual core with threading support was pretty good for the day. The single thread speed is beyond dire, and the "feel" of it is worse than a Raspberry Pi 2 (not even a 3). Then there is the artificially limited amount of RAM you can plug in, 2GB isn't much for even a phone these days.

    If you want an Android image, get a streaming box from GearBest or similar.

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ... The single thread speed is beyond dire, and the "feel" of it is worse than a Raspberry Pi 2 (not even a 3). Then there is the artificially limited amount of RAM you can plug in, 2GB isn't much for even a phone these days. ...
    Presumably that's because of resource bloat in newer versions of Android? My old HTC Magic was 528MHz Arm v11 with 192MB of RAM and ran 2.3 fairly smoothly...

    Or perhaps I just have much lower expectations of what a computer should be able to manage - let's not forget that in 2010 I was building 'refreshed' machines with Celeron D processors...

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Presumably that's because of resource bloat in newer versions of Android? My old HTC Magic was 528MHz Arm v11 with 192MB of RAM and ran 2.3 fairly smoothly...

    Or perhaps I just have much lower expectations of what a computer should be able to manage - let's not forget that in 2010 I was building 'refreshed' machines with Celeron D processors...
    My HTC Hero was a bit of a dog with Gingerbread. Was alright until then. Same specs, probably the same machine under the hood.

    But hey, if your expectations are "worse than a Raspberry Pi now 2 generations out of date but in a larger form factor, requiring way more power and depending on awful Intel graphics drivers" then perhaps it is the platform for you

    Note my main laptop only has an AMD E350 in it so it's not like I am a performance snob

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Raspberry Pi 3 is immune, you just need to learn to complete your computing tasks in Scratch
    British designed and British made - go us!!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Thats it!! I am done with all these CPUs - time to go back to the abacus!!
    I've got a spare Zilog Z80B going for a good price...
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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ... But hey, if your expectations are "worse than a Raspberry Pi now 2 generations out of date but in a larger form factor, requiring way more power and depending on awful Intel graphics drivers" then perhaps it is the platform for you ...
    Not exactly how I'd characterise them, but probably not too far off tbf modern web browsing pretty much kills anything with 2GB of RAM - I have to be a little wary about what tabs I have open when I'm using my tablet (frustrating, since Gems of War runs flawlessly on it).

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ... Note my main laptop only has an AMD E350 in it so it's not like I am a performance snob
    It did briefly occur to me that an AM1 platform would be a much better option ... then I checked and they support speculative execution, so are probably vulnerable to all these exploits

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    This will all get patched before Joe Average has to worry (as long as they actually get patched).
    : n(baby):n(lover):n(sky)|>P(Name)>>not quite

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    It did briefly occur to me that an AM1 platform would be a much better option ... then I checked and they support speculative execution, so are probably vulnerable to all these exploits
    Even the AMD K5 was OoO and so probably vulnerable.

    I suspect the ARM A53 is the best CPU you will find that is static issue, the A55 is better but I don't know when it will turn up in consumer devices.

    The outlier is Nvidia's Denver core. That is rumoured to be some sort of VLIW setup so software assisted wide static issue so *might* be immune and if not Nvidia might be able to code around the problem. Dev boards were about £300 if any are still around for sale.

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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Even the AMD K5 was OoO and so probably vulnerable. ...
    Wikipedia confirms it had speculative execution, and aiui at least one Spectre variant can theoretically be crafted to attack any processor with speculation?

    Back to playing Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure on the old 286 for me, then...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: BranchScope: Here we go again with the Spectre like attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Wikipedia confirms it had speculative execution, and aiui at least one Spectre variant can theoretically be crafted to attack any processor with speculation?

    Back to playing Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure on the old 286 for me, then...
    Perhaps we finally found a use case for the Itanium. Or perhaps we aren't *that* desperate

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