Google researchers have published their findings in a new Rowhammer technology, which expands the attacker’s coverage on the target computer as DRAM chips become smaller.
Rowhammer first reported in 2014 as a vulnerability, through which repeated access to an address can allow an attacker to destroy data stored in other addresses. When repeatedly accessing a DRAM row (“Attacker”), a “bit flip” is found in two adjacent rows (“Victim”). When the “hammered” cell changes its value, it causes the data in the adjacent row to change.
In the past, Rowhammer was understood as running within the distance of a line. However, in the newly discovered Half-Double attack, Google researchers found that Rowhammer’s effect can spread to rows outside of the neighboring neighbors of the target cell, albeit at a lower intensity. The attack may cause the victim’s bit to flip into two lines instead of one line.
The researcher wrote in the blog: “Given the three consecutive lines of A, B, and C, we can attack C by making a large number of visits to A and a small number of visits to B (about dozens).” The discovery.
Their findings indicate that as RAM chips become smaller, Rowhammer attacks can be used to affect more units. The researchers said in their post: “This is likely to indicate that the electrical coupling responsible for Rowhammer is a characteristic of distance. As the battery’s geometry shrinks, it will actually become stronger and have a longer range.”
Read Google’s full blog post for more details.
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