Let me remind you that the original attack Rowhammer back in 2014 came up with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. Its essence boiled down to the fact that a certain effect on memory cells can lead to the fact that electromagnetic radiation will affect neighboring cells, and the values of the bits in them will change.
Of course, modern memory uses Target Row Refresh (TRR) as a protection – a combination of various software and hardware patches created over the years. But last year, researchers already warned that TRR could be bypassed locally and demonstrated a TRRespass attack.
Experts have shown in the video how SMASH can slowly perform random reads and writes to memory using Firefox (81.0.1) and Ubuntu 18.04 with Linux kernel 4.15.0-111-generic. This could potentially lead to the execution of malicious code, and experts say that in this way they can “completely compromise the Firefox browser in 15 minutes.”
“Our work confirms that the Rowhammer problem continues to threaten Internet users. To make matters worse, our study of synchronization mechanisms shows that an attacker has even more control than previously thought. That is, it will be even more difficult to build the proper protection against Rowhammer, which we need while the problem is urgent, ”- says the authors of SMASH.
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