EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium: Exploiting modern microarchitectures: Meltdown, Spectre, and other hardware attacks

Exploiting modern microarchitectures: Meltdown, Spectre, and other hardware attacks
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 4:30pm
Gates B03
Jon Masters (Redhat)
Abstract / Description: 

Recently disclosed vulnerabilities against modern high performance computer microarchitectures known as 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' are among an emerging wave of hardware focused attacks. These include cache side channel exploits against underlying shared resources, which arise as a result of common industry-wide performance optimizations. More broadly, attacks against hardware are entering a new phase of sophistication that will see more in the months ahead. This talk will describe several of these attacks, how they can be mitigated, and generally what we can do as an industry to bring performance without trading security.

The Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium (EE380) meets on Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 throughout the academic year. Talks are given before a live audience in Room B03 in the basement of the Gates Computer Science Building on the Stanford Campus. The live talks (and the videos hosted at Stanford and on YouTube) are open to the public.


Jon Masters is a Computer Architect at Red Hat, where he was tech lead for mitigation efforts against Meltdown and Spectre. Jon has worked closely with high performance microprocessor design teams for years on emerging alternative server platforms, and also currently leads the CCIX software working group helping to define high performance cache coherent interconnects for workload acceleration. Jon has been a Linux developer for 22 years, since beginning college at the age of 13, and has authored a number of books on Linux technology. He lives in Cambridge, MA, and will run his 11th marathon later this spring.