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Integrated GPUs may allow side-channel and rowhammer attacks using WebGL ("Glitch")

Vulnerability Note VU#283803

Original Release Date: 2018-05-03 | Last Revised: 2018-05-03

Overview

Some platforms with integrated GPUs, such as smartphones, may allow both side-channel and rowhammer attacks via WebGL, which may allow a remote attacker to compromise the browser on an affected platform. An attack technique that leverages these vulnerabilities is called "GLitch."

Description

An academic paper describes an attack called "GLitch," which leverages two different techniques to achieve a compromise of a web browser using WebGL. The attack is only feasible on platforms where the CPU and GPU share the same memory, such as a smartphone or similar device. The two components of the attack are:

    1. A Side-channel attack to determine physical memory layout
    2. A Rowhammer attack to flip the value of one or more bits in physical memory

    The side-channel attack

    The precise timing capabilities provided by WebGL can allow an attacker to determine the difference between cached DRAM accesses and uncached DRAM accesses. This can allow an attacker to determine contiguous areas of physical DRAM memory. Knowledge of contiguous memory regions are used in a number of microarchitectural attacks, such as rowhammer.

    The rowhammer attack

    The rowhammer attack targets the design of DRAM memory. On a system where the DRAM is insufficiently refreshed, targeted operations on a row of DRAM memory may be able to influence the memory values on neighboring rows. Protections against the rowhammer attack include the use of ECC DRAM, as well as increased refresh rates. The LPDDR4 mobile memory standard also has optional hardware support for target row refresh, which can mitigate the rowhammer attack.

    Combining the attacks with WebGL

    The GLitch attack leverages both a side-channel attack to determine contiguous memory, as well as rowhammer. With the knowledge of contiguous memory, an attacker may be able to determine relative physical addresses. This knowledge of relative physical addresses can let the attacker know what memory locations to target with the rowhammer attack. The use of WebGL with precise timers is important in the GLitch attack for these reasons:
      • Precise WebGL timers allow a side-channel to leak memory addresses.
      • GPU capabilities exposed via WebGL allow for fast double-sided DRAM access, enabling the rowhammer attack.
    The impact of combining both the side-channel attack and rowhammer attack has been demonstrated to bypass the Firefox sandbox on the Android platform.

    GLitch success rates in testing

    It is important to realize that the GLitch attack has only successfully been demonstrated on the Nexus 5 phone, which was released in 2013. The Nexus 5 phone received its last software security update in October, 2015, and is therefore an already unsafe device to use. Several other phones released in 2013 were tested, but were not able to successfully be attacked with the GLitch attack. Success rates on phones newer than 2013 models were not provided. Non-Android devices were not tested as well.

    Impact

    Upon visiting a malicious or compromised website with a vulnerable device, an attacker may be able to bypass security features provided by the web browser.

    Solution

    Apply an update

    Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have released updates which disable high precision timers in the browser.
    Other browsers do not appear to be affected.

    Vendor Information

    283803
    Expand all

    Google

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  May 03, 2018

    Status

      Affected

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Vendor Information

    We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Mozilla

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  May 03, 2018

    Status

      Affected

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Vendor Information

    We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Microsoft

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  April 25, 2018

    Status

      Not Affected

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Vendor Information

    We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    AMD

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Apple

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Arm

    Updated:  April 26, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Vendor Information

    We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    BlackBerry

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Brave Software

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Broadcom

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    IBM, INC.

    Notified:  April 26, 2018 Updated:  April 26, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Imagination Technologies

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Intel

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    NVIDIA

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Opera

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    QUALCOMM Incorporated

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Sailfish OS

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Samsung Mobile

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Silicon Intgrated Systems Corp.

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    UC Browser for Android

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

    Vivaldi

    Notified:  March 16, 2018 Updated:  March 16, 2018

    Status

      Unknown

    Vendor Statement

    No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

    Addendum

    There are no additional comments at this time.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.


    CVSS Metrics

    Group Score Vector
    Base 4.0 AV:N/AC:H/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:N
    Temporal 3.6 E:F/RL:W/RC:C
    Environmental 2.7 CDP:ND/TD:M/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND

    References

    Credit

    This issue was reported by Pietro Frigo, Cristiano Giuffrida, Herbert Bos, and Kaveh Razavi of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    This document was written by Will Dormann and Trent Novelly.

    Other Information

    CVE IDs: CVE-2018-10229
    Date Public: 2018-05-03
    Date First Published: 2018-05-03
    Date Last Updated: 2018-05-03 19:45 UTC
    Document Revision: 45

    Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.