CyberNews Briefs

Weakness in Intel chips lets researchers steal encrypted SSH keystrokes

Vulnerabilities in the Data-Direct I/O (DDIO) mechanism in Intel server processors can be exploited by attackers in order to grab keystrokes and other sensitive data, new research from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and ETH Zurich shows.

In the most dangerous attack scenario, threat actors could abuse DDIO in order to steal data from data centers and cloud environments. In order to demonstrate how this could work, the researchers designed an attack scenario in which they managed to get one server to obtain keystrokes typed into the protected SSH session set up between two other servers, one of which was an application server.

The researchers say that while their Network Cache Attack (NetCAT) “is powerful even with only minimal assumptions,” they “have merely scratched the surface of possibilities for network-based cache attacks.” Consequently, they “expect similar attacks based on NetCAT in the future.”

Read more: Weakness in Intel chips lets researchers steal encrypted SSH keystrokes

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes OODALoop.com and CTOvision.com. Bob is the author of the book The Cyber Threat. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency.