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Re: [PATCH 0/7] Mitigation against unsafe data speculation (CVE-2017-5753)

> On Jul 10, 2018, at 3:49 AM, Richard Earnshaw (lists) <> wrote:
> On 10/07/18 00:13, Jeff Law wrote:
>> On 07/09/2018 10:38 AM, Richard Earnshaw wrote:
>>> The patches I posted earlier this year for mitigating against
>>> CVE-2017-5753 (Spectre variant 1) attracted some useful feedback, from
>>> which it became obvious that a rethink was needed.  This mail, and the
>>> following patches attempt to address that feedback and present a new
>>> approach to mitigating against this form of attack surface.
>>> There were two major issues with the original approach:
>>> - The speculation bounds were too tightly constrained - essentially
>>>  they had to represent and upper and lower bound on a pointer, or a
>>>  pointer offset.
>>> - The speculation constraints could only cover the immediately preceding
>>>  branch, which often did not fit well with the structure of the existing
>>>  code.
>>> An additional criticism was that the shape of the intrinsic did not
>>> fit particularly well with systems that used a single speculation
>>> barrier that essentially had to wait until all preceding speculation
>>> had to be resolved.
>> Right.  I suggest the Intel and IBM reps chime in on the updated semantics.
> Yes, logically, this is a boolean tracker value.  In practice we use ~0
> for true and 0 for false, so that we can simply use it as a mask
> operation later.
> I hope this intrinsic will be even more acceptable than the one that
> Bill Schmidt acked previously, it's even simpler than the version we had
> last time.

Yes, I think this looks quite good.  Thanks!

Thanks also for digging into the speculation tracking algorithm.  This
has good potential as a conservative opt-in approach.  The obvious
concern is whether performance will be acceptable even for apps
that really want the protection.

We took a look at Chandler's WIP LLVM patch and ran some SPEC2006 
numbers on a Skylake box.  We saw geomean degradations of about
42% (int) and 33% (fp).  (This was just one test, so caveat emptor.)
This isn't terrible given the number of potential false positives and the
early state of the algorithm, but it's still a lot from a customer perspective.
I'll be interested in whether your interprocedural improvements are
able to reduce the conservatism a bit.

>>> To address all of the above, these patches adopt a new approach, based
>>> in part on a posting by Chandler Carruth to the LLVM developers list
>>> (,
>>> but which we have extended to deal with inter-function speculation.
>>> The patches divide the problem into two halves.
>> We're essentially turning the control dependency into a value that we
>> can then use to munge the pointer or the resultant data.
>>> The first half is some target-specific code to track the speculation
>>> condition through the generated code to provide an internal variable
>>> which can tell us whether or not the CPU's control flow speculation
>>> matches the data flow calculations.  The idea is that the internal
>>> variable starts with the value TRUE and if the CPU's control flow
>>> speculation ever causes a jump to the wrong block of code the variable
>>> becomes false until such time as the incorrect control flow
>>> speculation gets unwound.
>> Right.
>> So one of the things that comes immediately to mind is you have to run
>> this early enough that you can still get to all the control flow and
>> build your predicates.  Otherwise you have do undo stuff like
>> conditional move generation.
> No, the opposite, in fact.  We want to run this very late, at least on
> Arm systems (AArch64 or AArch32).  Conditional move instructions are
> fine - they're data-flow operations, not control flow (in fact, that's
> exactly what the control flow tracker instructions are).  By running it
> late we avoid disrupting any of the earlier optimization passes as well.
>> On the flip side, the earlier you do this mitigation, the more you have
>> to worry about what the optimizers are going to do to the code later in
>> the pipeline.  It's almost guaranteed a naive implementation is going to
>> muck this up since we can propagate the state of the condition into the
>> arms which will make the predicate state a compile time constant.
>> In fact this seems to be running into the area of pointer providence and
>> some discussions we had around atomic a few years back.
>> I also wonder if this could be combined with taint analysis to produce a
>> much lower overhead solution in cases were developers have done analysis
>> and know what objects are potentially under attacker control.  So
>> instead of analyzing everything, we can have a much narrower focus.
> Automatic application of the tracker to vulnerable variables would be
> nice, but I haven't attempted to go there yet: at present I still rely
> on the user to annotate code with the new intrinsic.
> That doesn't mean that we couldn't extend the overall approach later to
> include automatic tracking.
>> The pointer munging could well run afoul of alias analysis engines that
>> don't expect to be seeing those kind of operations.
> I think the pass runs late enough that it isn't a problem.
>> Anyway, just some initial high level thoughts.  I'm sure there'll be
>> more as I read the implementation.
> Thanks for starting to look at this so quickly.
> R.
>> Jeff

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