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Cisco Security Advisory: Row Hammer Privilege Escalation Vulnerability



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Row Hammer Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

Advisory ID: cisco-sa-20150309-rowhammer

http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20150309-rowhammer

Revision 1.1

Last Updated  2015 March 9 22:59  UTC (GMT)

For Public Release 2015 March 9 21:50  UTC (GMT)

Summary

On March 9, 2015, new research was published that takes advantage of a flaw in double data rate type 3 (DDR3) synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) to perform privilege escalation attacks on systems that contain the affected hardware. The flaw is known as Row Hammer. To attempt an attack, the attacker must execute a malicious binary on an affected system.

In addition, the research focused on consumer hardware that did not have a number of mitigations and memory protections that have been integrated into chipsets and memory modules used in Cisco server-class products. Of note in the paper is that the researchers were unable, in their testing, to exploit devices that use Error-Correcting Code (ECC) memory.

Cisco offers a limited number of products that allow an unprivileged user to load and execute binaries.

The research report is at the following link:
http://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2015/03/exploiting-dram-rowhammer-bug-to-gain.html

This advisory is available at the following link:
http://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20150309-rowhammer

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