Apple For Safety? PACMAN Targets The New M1 Chip

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PACMAN Can Bypass The M1’s Pointer Authentication

You’ve seen the commercials and heard it from any Apple followers you would possibly know; Apple is for safety and never susceptible to the viruses that take out PCs.  Whereas not totally unfaithful, the success of their PR campaigns have led folks to overestimate simply how invulnerable that Apple product they buy truly is.  The most recent instance of that’s the {hardware} vulnerably PACMAN, which targets the brand new M1 chip from Apple, fully bypassing some safety features on it.

The M1 makes use of pointer authentication, which ought to stop an attacker from modifying reminiscence references with out being detected and cease something flagged by it from operating in any respect.  The assault itself is sort of worrying, as it will possibly make guesses concerning the cryptographic hash worth of a Pointer Authentication Code with out crashing this system, as is meant.  It is usually reasonably efficient, with researchers taking 2.94 minutes to guess a correct worth for a 16-bit PAC and assemble a control-flow hijacking assault.  You may dive deeper into the small print with this story at The Register.

We will hope that the Apple M2 chip additionally consists of mitigations for this, although that was not particularly talked about throughout Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote speech.  They did recommend that the brand new eight-core M2 CPU will present 87% of an Intel’s 12-core Core i7-1260P peak efficiency, however will devour a mere quarter of the facility of the Alder Lake chip.   Apple additionally suggests it would present virtually twice the processing energy of the Core i7-1255U, and achieve this whereas matching the facility consumption of the Intel chip.  

You can find out more about what Kevin Krewell and the reporter from The Register think about this announcement here.


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