A side-channel vulnerability has been discovered in Intel Server CPUs that exploits the network performance-enhancing capabilities of recent Intel server CPUs. The vulnerability is named NetCat and uses these network performance-enhancing capabilities to potentially leak information transmitted during an SSH-protected session. It takes advantage of Data-Direct I/O (DDIO), a feature of recent Intel server-grade CPUs that allows peripherals to read/write from/to the fast (last-level) cache. It was introduced to improve performance of servers in high-speed network environments.
Using this vulnerability, an attacker on a remote system can, by merely sending packets to the targeted server, get information on the arrival timing of packets sent by a third system. After processing that information with statistical routines, an accurate decoding of text being typed on the third system can be created.
Sensitive Data Leakage
Intel Server CPUs