Spectre & Meltdown on your system


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RayG
RayG
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At the moment it is quite difficult to really understand what the effects of Spectre and Meltdown are on any particular system. The following utility will help you understand exactly where you are with respect to your system:
https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm
Easily examine and understand any Windows
system's hardware and software capability to
prevent Meltdown and Spectre attacks.

This is a YouTube video that also explains what is happening it is set to start at the begining of the explanation and not the start of the whole video (Episode 645)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMYNtPzRCgk&t=1h27m12s

You can also download/View HTML, PDF and TXT versions of the whole episode here:
https://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm

You can also hear about the program above in the next episode (646):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6Es_ucAZ8


Regards
RayG
Windows10 X64 V1803 B17134.228 MR v7.1.3317

Edited 17 January 2018 2:35 PM by RayG
jphughan
jphughan
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A fellow Security Now listener!  For what it's worth, InSpectre was completely wrong on my completely normal test system, and in total conflict with Microsoft's tool. I see there was a new release this morning (just called "Release #2"), but nothing has changed for me:

My configuration:
- Physical server with fixed BIOS installed
- Windows Server 2016 with January update installed, which contains the fixes
- Windows patches not actually enabled because on Windows Server, the patches remain disabled by default unless you manually create certain registry values, which I had not done.

InSpectre's report:
- Firmware has been patched -- correct
- OS is aware of Meltdown but not Spectre because it hasn't been patched to handle the latter -- incorrect.
- OS not currently providing Meltdown protection because it hasn't been patched or protection has been deliberately disabled -- mostly incorrect since no protection is the default Server config.
- Registry is configured to enable both protections -- incorrect.
- Despite the tool claiming no Meltdown protection is available and that the registry is properly configured (both incorrect), the "Disable Meltdown Protection" button was available, which makes no sense.  The "Enable Spectre Protection" button was not.

Microsoft's tool may not report as eloquently, but it at least reports the system state accurately.

Edited 17 January 2018 5:36 PM by jphughan
RayG
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jphughan - 17 January 2018 5:26 PM
A fellow Security Now listener!  For what it's worth, InSpectre was completely wrong on my completely normal test system, and in total conflict with Microsoft's tool. I see there was a new release this morning (just called "Release #2"), but nothing has changed for me:

My configuration:
- Physical server
- Windows Server 2016 with January update installed, which contains the fixes
- BIOS updated to a version that contains microcode fix
- Windows patches not actually enabled because on the Windows Server, the patches remain disabled by default unless you manually create certain registry values, which I had not done.

InSpectre's report:
- Firmware has been patched -- correct
- OS is aware of Meltdown but not Spectre because it hasn't been patched to handle the latter Spectre -- incorrect.
- OS not currently providing Meltdown protection because it hasn't been patched or protection has been deliberately disabled -- mostly incorrect since no protection is the default Server config.
- Registry is configured to enable both protections -- incorrect.
- Despite the tool claiming no Meltdown protection is available and that the registry is properly configured (both incorrect), the "Disable Meltdown Protection" button was available, which makes no sense.  The "Enable Spectre Protection" button was not.

Microsoft's tool may not report as eloquently, but it at least reports the system state accurately.

Servers seem to be a litlle more problematic - but you can always feedback that info and it WILL get fixed.


Regards
RayG
Windows10 X64 V1803 B17134.228 MR v7.1.3317

jphughan
jphughan
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I did.  I suspect this is a case of not properly accounting for the different way Microsoft implemented these fixes on the Server platform compared to client, and it doesn't particularly surprise me that Steve didn't do too much testing on the Server side, least of all Server 2016, since he still uses XP as his primary system and never intends to move to any version of Windows later than 7. Smile

GO

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