After Meltdown and Spectre, Intel CPUs Are Now Vulnerable to BranchScope Attacks

What’s BranchScope? It’s a new side-channel attack discovered by four security researchers from College of William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, University of California Riverside, and Binghamton University, which could affect devices powered by Intel processors and which may be immune to the Meltdown and Spectre mitigations. According to their paper, even if they are a bit more sophisticated, the BranchScope attacks can do the same damage as the Spectre and Meltdown flaws, in the way that an attacker can exploit the security vulnerability to retrieve sensitive data from the unpatched system, including passwords and encryption keys, by manipulating the shared directional branch predictor.