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Puppy Linux: Meltdown and Spectre


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#1 JohnnyBeeGood

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 05:59 AM

Mod edit Al1000: Split from 'Puppy' Linux Corner..... because the discussion that follows concerns Meltdown and Spectre more than Puppy.


I've read a lot about the commotion over Meltdown and Spectre, so how do Puppy Linux users address the kernel memory issues?
fyi, I'm using a Live DVD version of TahrPup64  6.0.6 uefi.


Edited by Al1000, 07 January 2018 - 01:40 PM.


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#2 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:37 AM

News to me, Johnny. D'you mind filling me in?

 

I've been busy with all sorts of family stuff the last couple of weeks, so I haven't really been keeping up with these kinds of issues, I'm afraid...

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 05 January 2018 - 06:37 AM.

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#3 NickAu

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 07:47 AM

Mike
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/list-of-meltdown-and-spectre-vulnerability-advisories-patches-and-updates/

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/11/linux-unix/

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/667171/meltdown-spectre-vulnerabilityany-known-way-to-prevent-this/#entry4415969

 

 

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=112465


Edited by NickAu, 05 January 2018 - 07:50 AM.


#4 JohnnyBeeGood

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 09:56 AM

Hi Mike :D

 

It's a different world out there now :eek:

 

Click on about any tech site and there's info on the kernel memory leakage issue, some correct, some not so much.

A really big deal from all accounts.

MS and Apple seem to have their bases pretty much covered as do several of the major Linux distros.

But I haven't seen any thing on how to address my Puppies.

 

I have both Intel and AMD powered computers using Puppy.

 

I've read javascript may be one of the potential  major delivery systems for a malicious attack, so NoScript or something like it should be actively enforced.

 

Firefox 57 is being recommended by Mozilla.

 

And that's about all I know.



#5 Gary R

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 11:17 AM

Firefox 57.0.4 was recently released, and was updated to "mitigate" the impact of Spectre ... https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox/#firefox57.0.4

 

I believe I read that for a Meltdown attack, your attacker needs to have direct access to your machine.



#6 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the update, Nick.....and everybody else.

 

Well, I don't know. According to all the bulletins, AMD (which I run) aren't really vulnerable.....due to design differences? (*shrug*)

 

As for updating the BIOS, don't make me laugh..! The last time MSI released a BIOS update for this board was all the way back in November.....of 2006. That's right! There won't be any microcode/firmware forthcoming here, I can tell you.

 

And AMD haven't built these chips for at least a decade, anyway. So, kiddiwinks; whatcha reckon a good little geek should do, eh?

 

I'm sure as hell not going to worry about it, that's for certain. Some clever sod out there is now going to start spouting off about Hackers, Inc. going on a global rampage.....which'll make the predicted apocalypse for folks who stuck with XP look like Larry the Lamb vs. Godzilla by comparison.

 

Every time something like this comes up, the scare-mongering starts..... I swear some folks aren't happy unless they have got summat to whinge, worry and moan about all the time!

 

The 'wind-up' merchants are going to have a field day with this one.....until the next big scare comes along. At which point, this'll get promptly forgotten.....(as usual).

 

The Woof-CE team (and various interested parties) are all busily chewing this over on the Puppy 'Security' sub-forum. I daresay something will get done at some point; it's pointless me promising stuff that may (or may not) materialise. At this point, y'all know as much as I do.

 

I'll keep updates coming as & when they appear. Until then, keep calm.....and 'Carry on regardless..!'  :)

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 06 January 2018 - 09:39 AM.

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#7 Condobloke

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:59 PM

Well said, Mike.....and my Tea cup would agree......

 

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#8 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 08:23 AM

Mm. Well, now...

 

From what I can see of it, Cat, you're saying that maintaining backwards compatibility with x86 is at the root of all this, then? That if Intel, all those years ago, had forced Itanium and IA-64 down the market's throat, then this particular vulnerability couldn't possibly have occurred?

 

Intel might be big.....but they're still a company manufacturing a product, at the end of the day. Even they don't always get things right; they're as capable of making 'boo-boos' as anybody else. You can't force people to buy something they don't want. And at the time, the market didn't want Itanium.

 

I know you're the '64-bit' kiddie, here on the forum.....and believe that everybody should have been using nothing else for years now. But you gotta remember, mate; there's such an infrastructure developed around 32-bit processing, that there would have been a global outcry if all of a sudden, all those years ago, everybody had been forced to go out and purchase new hardware. Not everybody is always in the same 'fortunate' position as you, mate.....and I don't want to hear about 'budgeting' to purchase stuff. That's not relevant, and you know it.....so don't even start. Computing is far down most people's list of priorities; John Doe in the street is more concerned about keeping a roof over his head and putting food in the family's mouth. The stuff we enjoy messing around with on here doesn't even enter the heads of most folks, much less bother them.

 

I run 32-bit OSs for two reasons. One, because of the age of this hardware, and the fact that despite being 64-bit capable, 32-bit software is kinder to it, and doesn't make it work so hard. And secondly, because it still does work, 100 %; it's not ready for the scrap-heap just yet. So I see no need to go out and spend money unnecessarily on something I don't yet need. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it; probably sooner, rather than later.....but it'll happen as and when necessary, not before.

 

And anyway, the next big milestone will be 128-bit computing. I can see it coming, at some point in the next decade or two. What are you going to do then, huh? Dutifully troop out and purchase all new hardware yet again?? And keep running on about 'budgeting' for the 'right' hardware?

 

It's 'diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks', mate.....and always will be. Different folks have different priorities.

 

Most people do run 64-bit by default anyway, don't forget. They change their hardware every 2-3 years, and it's all been 64-bit for years now, of course. It's only really daft buggers like me (who run 32-bit hardware by choice), and folks in places like the 3rd world (who don't have a choice; they're grateful for whatever hand-me-downs they can get) who may have to suffer the 'consequences'.

 

I'll worry about it when it happens, mate. I don't use my 'puters to make a living; for me, this has always been just a hobby.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 06 January 2018 - 09:36 AM.

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#9 The-Toolman

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 08:32 AM

Mm. Well, now...

 

From what I can see of it, Cat, you're saying that maintaining backwards compatibility with x86 is at the root of all this, then? That if Intel, all those years ago, had forced Itanium and IA-64 down the market's throat, then this particular vulnerability couldn't possibly occur?

 

I know you're the '64-bit' kiddie, here on the forum.....and believe that everybody should have been using nothing else for years now. But you gotta remember, mate; there's such an infrastructure developed around 32-bit processing, that there would have been a global outcry if all of a sudden, all those years ago, everybody had been forced to go out and purchase new hardware. Not everybody is always in the same 'fortunate' position as you, mate.....and I don't want to hear a word about 'budgeting' to purchase stuff. That's not relevant, and you know it.....so don't even start. Computing is far down most people's list of priorities; John Doe in the street is more concerned about keeping a roof over his head and putting food in the family's mouth. The bleep we mess around with here doesn't even enter the heads of most folks, much less bother them.

 

And anyway, the next big milestone will be 128-bit computing. I can see it coming, sooner or later. What are you going to do then, huh? Dutifully go out and purchase all new hardware yet again.....like a good little brainwashed geek?? And carry on spouting off about 'budgeting' for the 'right' hardware, yet again?

 

It's 'diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks', mate.....and always will be. Different folks have different priorities.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:

Very Well said Mike and I agree. :thumbsup:


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#10 JohnnyBeeGood

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

 

 

Every time something like this comes up, the scare-mongering starts..... I swear some folks aren't happy unless they have got summat to whinge, worry and moan about all the time!

 

Mike.  :wink:

 

.......

 

Yet this is a big deal, far larger than the small percentage of XP holdouts, and maybe larger than the Windows 7 ones come 2020, which will be a frigging mess for Microsoft. There's going to be lots of CPU's left unpatched, no one will take the responsibility to 'do the right thing' in patching all affected models on the market that's still in use. Yes, some are a decade to 15 years old, still not an excuse for Intel to provide a patch via their website, it can't be that hard for engineers to rewrite firmware properly, like they should had done from the go. Then we have the issue of Intel trying to be 'too' backwards compatible, they should never had allowed the 86-64 (or whatever) to take place, rather a 64 bit CPU for these users, 32 bit for those never intending an upgrade. That wouldn't had been hard to do, not at the time of SP2, force all XP users onto 64 bit & not permitting Vista 64 downgrades to XP Pro 32 bit (on the same hardware).

 

We;'ll soon all this aete how this effects folks, money talks & the trash walks. :)

 

Cat

 

 

And I thought I was asking such a simple and non emotional question :D

 

I agree, Cat. This is a big deal. I do see responses being made in chip and software firms and that is good.

But the impact if ignored or even half heartedly approached is more enormous than focusing just on the individual computer user.

The backbone of economies run on computers. From point of sale to the 'magical cloud' where transactions are stored along with all the software that can be pirated. ( a little cynicism ;) ) And then there is the IRS, Social Security and a host of government bureaucracies. And don't forget banking and e-commerce.

Governments won't function safely with buggy/flawed computing. ( Our own Homeland Security can't even protect it's employee data base )

That's merely a simple view of the potential negatives if everyone ho hums the situation because some loonies do run around crying wolf as if the end of the world is near.

 

Asking isn't the same as a declaration and ignoring isn't a solution.

 

Well, you all have a nice day and I'll keep a watch out to see how the Puppy experts handle this current situation :)


Edited by JohnnyBeeGood, 06 January 2018 - 10:52 AM.


#11 cat1092

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

JohnnyBeeGood, that's what concerns me, is just what Intel plans to do, make things truly right, or a half-hearted approach to this serious issue that's here to stay for some time. :)

 

Mike, note that I didn't say the first thing about 'budgeting' above, nor what who can afford & can't, that's not the subject (have covered that elsewhere). This is Intel I'm speaking of, what they should had done. Yes I know that at the time, many needed 32 bit CPU's. In that case, Intel (& AMD) should had continued to manufacture these for those who needed (kind of like Intel did for the netbook market when W7 was released). Not making 64 bit CPU's backwards compatible, part of what has led to this mess, I posted a link an article in another Topic in regards to the subject. 

 

 

If you have a flaw in your DNA, you have a genetic disease. You can try to mitigate it with various treatments and medications, but you can't really cure it. Well, you have stuff likeCRISPR, but there's no hardware equivalent to that.

Essentially, the only cure -- at least today -- is for the organism to die and for another one to take its place. The bloodline has to die out entirely.

The organism with the genetic disease, in this case, is Intel's x86 chip architecture, which is the predominant systems architecture in personal computers, datacenter servers, and embedded systems.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-intel-x86-must-die-our-cloud-centric-future-depends-on-open-source-chips-meltdown/?loc=newsletter_large_thumb_featured&ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=27933632490877248556522235037769

 

That's the bottom line, not a consumer related issue, other than our personal security for our daily usage of our computers of all types, running all types of OS's, to include Puppy Linux. No one is immune from these threats if using an Intel CPU, no matter how much the cost or age of. :)

 

Intel needs to stop shoving all of these newer gen CPU's out as fast as they can, slow down & give some thought to securing these, as well as shipping quality patches for those that still exists. I know, that's a boatload of models, yet Intel has the same in cash reserves, and the capability to fix these issues. It'll likely be easier to begin with the oldest out there (with the least amount of code) & work their way through the latest. This can be done.......if Intel values their customers, the backbone of their business. :)

 

No business, no matter how large or small, can exist if their customer base starts looking another way over shoddy CPU manufacturing techniques. We've already endured Intel's substituting thermal paste for soldered on IHS to die scandal that was initially discovered & announced on tech forums (the ones who does a lot of in-house testing), rather than by them. This is far worse than any scandal that Intel has ever endured & it's all on their shoulders for being sloppy, rather than focusing on making the best, secure CPU's possible. Intel chose to take on a long term gunfight with AMD instead (over the last 12-15 years) & we're now seeing the outcome of the battle. 

 

Heads needs to roll over this deal, time for Intel to purge what's left of the old school (those who were initially responsible & turned their heads) & bring in new dynamic leadership for not only their future, for the sake of the well being of everyone who uses the Internet at all levels. :)

 

If this were any other industry, that's exactly what would happen, what Intel has done is 100% unacceptable by any standard. Someone in the Intel camp had to see this train wreck coming & done absolutely nothing to prevent what we're now facing. We cannot trust the fox to guard the henhouse, external sources should come in & audit Intel's every move since the turn of the Millennium. 

 

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#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

Intel needs to stop shoving all of these newer gen CPU's out as fast as they can, slow down & give some thought to securing these, as well as shipping quality patches for those that still exists. I know, that's a boatload of models, yet Intel has the same in cash reserves, and the capability to fix these issues. It'll likely be easier to begin with the oldest out there (with the least amount of code) & work their way through the latest. This can be done.......if Intel values their customers, the backbone of their business. :)

 

Cat

 

Oh, yes.....I agree. If this has got to be done, then a 'plan of action' needs to be drawn up, and they need to get their backsides into gear and just get on with it; after all, it'll only need doing once, so the sooner it's done, the better.

 

Which begs the question, of course; where do you draw the bottom line? By which I mean, what's the oldest CPU that ought to be the recipient of these 'patches'?

 

If you ask me, without seeming arbitrary, I should set that bottom line at the Pentium 4s. They're about the oldest CPU that'll still run a modern browser; I should know, since I run one myself (it's that use of SSE2s that just drags them into the ball-park, of course.) And in a way, Intel have only got themselves to blame for the number out there that are still in use; they were good for their time, they were near as dammit bullet-proof (they'd tolerate unbelievable amounts of heat, and still keep chugging away).....and they made literally millions of the things over the product's lifetime. Stands to reason there's still going to be more than a few 'doing the business'; you've only got to look on Amazon & eBay to see how many are still about.

 

(You can't really count the number that suffered from an early death due to SNDS - Sudden Northwood Death Syndrome. The number the overclocking community dispatched in this manner was but a drop in the ocean, relative to the total number produced.)

 

And of course, in stark comparison to the current top-end offerings (which sport transistor counts somewhere in the low billions at present), the P4s only have a measly 55 million of the things! So they must be easy enough to patch, I would have thought...

 

What d'you reckon?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 06 January 2018 - 01:00 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#13 cat1092

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:14 PM

Yeah, P4 would be a great place to start, as that point was when home PC sales skyrocketed, when Dell began a price war that benefited the masses. :thumbup2:

 

 

 

Sudden Northwood Death Syndrome

 

Oh no, don't remind me, while mine didn't die, would had done me a favor if so. In 2011-12, I took a PC that has recently gone through an entire internal makeover in the Dimension 2400 that shipped with some Celeron 2.4, upgraded to a 2.8Ghz P4 & should had stayed put, performance was acceptable. But no, I discovered the 'ultimate' upgrade to the PC was a 3.06GHz Northwood P4, while I had to go through a few small mods to upgrade the cooler to a copper model, was on a burning path to make it work. Spent $20-30 (excluding the cooler) for adapters to pull off the job & finally succeeded (at gaining 10-15% more performance :P), although had to use a Molex connection for the fan to work, at full speed. To prevent boot errors, used the native fan as exhaust, and believe me (you would), could close the door to this very room in the coldest part of the winter & be very toasty in 30 minutes. :P

 

That CPU with H/T could had been great, had Intel been more generous with the L2 cache than 0.5MB, had to step up to the next series, I believe Prescott for better overall performance.

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/27499/Intel-Pentium-4-Processor-supporting-HT-Technology-3_06-GHz-512K-Cache-533-MHz-FSB

 

My next PC after that, which was my first new, featured the i7-4770, by chance which ran at a TDP of only 2.2W higher (84W), 81.8W for the P4. That's a lot of wasted energy for the computing power, yet was the times, so went with the best that would work with what I had. Ran Linux Mint 13 decently, far better than XP Pro or W7 Home Basic. Puppy, had I known of it at the time, likely would had made it ran 15-20x faster than XP out of the box. :P

 

There's no telling how many of these are still in use somewhere, the mobile line also, of which I also have one with a 2.0GHz Pentium M (performance of a P3), need to charge the battery, hasn't been booted since I last tried some non-PAE distro someone here suggested. As others has suggested elsewhere, there's some parts of the World that cherishes these legacy computers due to their economy. That's another reason why the P4 is a good place to start, everyone deserves a safe CPU to run, :)

 

Cat


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#14 The-Toolman

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:51 PM

Intel should be liable for all processors that are affected by this bug starting at then Pentium 4 processors on up.

 

Intel is the cause of this bug due to poor engineering design and poor quality control which is typical of big corporations.

 

Get a big rope and find a scrub oak tree and hang them high. :thumbsup:


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#15 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 04:27 PM

I don't know if Cat read right through all the replies and comments to that ZDNet article he linked to, but down near the bottom (around 100 comments in) was this reply from somebody who was of the impression that the whole thing was, as usual, being 'over-hyped' & blown up out of all proportion:-

"Let me get this straight....

 

So, the whole world has been using technology that's been "flawed" for decades, and even with that flaw, the tech has been powering the world's economies and governments and private devices, totaling into the many billions of instances of those processors.

 

And, the "flaw" has not been detrimental to hundreds of billions of applications in use for those decades.

 

Now that somebody discovered a previously "undisclosed" flaw, and it can't be corrected because those chips are too numerous to recall or fix, we need to drop what has been working "flawlessly"?

 

The flaw is not something that hindered or interfered with the usage of the processors and their millions of applications.

 

Most importantly, the flaw has been discovered, and, just like any curable disease, it can be fixed. Analogies comparing the flaw with DNA-based diseases, is a big "flaw" in the analysis and in the premise for getting rid of what's been working fine for decades?

 

If the flaw is known and understood and fixable in the hardware, why the heck get rid of it if the fix is all that it requires? Why undo decades of development in hardware and software and usage, just to appease the "feelings" of the open-source advocates?

 

Jeez! Let's get real!!!"

 

 (*shrug*)

 

I get the feeling a lot of those respondents are Windows/Intel fanbois who won't hear a word said against their 'fave' OS, or the overwhelmingly favourite processor/OS combo that gamers use.....

 

(The author of the article, one Jason Perlow, is advocating an end to x86, and the design of a brand-new, open-source chip architecture from the ground up.....while obviously not having a clue as to just what such a mammoth project would entail, OR what it would cost to bring to fruition.

 

The whole thing is a well-researched, but flawed, piece of clickbait. Quite entertaining, for all that....)

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 06 January 2018 - 04:29 PM.

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