intel-design-bug-what-about-vmware-esxi-and-vms

By now probably everyone with an internet access who read news in the last couple of days noticed the bad Intel design bug that is affecting millions or even billions of devices, server and client computer. While potential hacker might not be extremely interested spending time to bother personal computer and mobiles, the situation changes when it comes to systems hosting hundreds, thousands or millions of customer infrastructures and their data. There is not doubt that cloud computing could be a valuable target for attacks utilizing this bug.

While many reports say that VMware ESXi (VMkernel) is not affected, the guest OS, so the virtual machine is affected.

Extract from the VMware blog Post: https://blogs.vmware.com/security/2018/01/vmsa-2018-0002.html

VMSA-2018-0002

Update 01/04/18: OS vendors have begun issuing patches that address CVE-2017-5753, CVE-2017-5715, and CVE-2017-5754 for their operating systems. For these patches to be fully functional in a guest OS additional ESXi and vCenter Server updates will be required. These updates are being given the highest priority. Please sign up to the Security-Announce mailing list to be alerted when these updates are available.

Today VMware has released the following new security advisory:

VMSA-2018-0002 – VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion updates address side-channel analysis due to speculative execution.

This advisory documents remediation for known variants of the Bounds-Check Bypass (CVE-2017-5753) and Branch Target Injection (CVE-2017-5715) issues due to speculative execution disclosed today by Google Project Zero. These issues may result in information disclosure from one Virtual Machine to another Virtual Machine that is running on the same host.

A third issue due to speculative execution, Rogue Data Cache Load (CVE-2017-5754), was disclosed along the other two issues. It does not affect ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion because ESXi does not run untrusted user mode code, and Workstation and Fusion rely on the protection that the underlying operating system provides.

The remediation as documented in VMSA-2018-0002, has been present in VMware Cloud on AWS since early December 2017.

Please sign up to the Security-Announce mailing list to receive new and updated VMware Security Advisories.

Customers should review the security advisory and direct any questions to VMware Support.

We can also highly recommend the article by Brandon Lee at https://www.virtualizationhowto.com

https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2018/01/new-intel-design-flaw-vmware-affected/

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Goal:

Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).

Implementation:

immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

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Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.

Implementation:

While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

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No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

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  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


Implementation:

immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

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Goal:

IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.

Implementation:

immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

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CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.

Implementation:

As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

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