MELTWEB: A Transient Execution Attack to Capture Data in Fill Line Buffer.



Meltweb, Meltdown, Transient Execution Attacks


The out-of-order execution mechanism is widely used in modern processors. However, meltdown attacks exploit this mechanism to allow malicious instructions to capture sensitive data from kernel domains. This work aims to present a new meltdown attack, called Meltweb. It is a new approach in the category of privileged speculative execution attacks to leak arbitrary data into address spaces and privilege limits. Meltweb can be implemented from linear execution without the need for page faults, eliminating the need for an exception suppression mechanism, thus allowing the attack to be executed throughout the system of arbitrary code without privileges as in search engines interpretation of Javascript. To exemplify the performance of the attack, two proof-of-concept variants were developed that demonstrate the ability to perform the attack natively, as well as remotely using Javascript. The attack developed showed satisfactory results in its two variants, with 98\% accuracy in capturing confidential data in the native variant. For the remote variant, the attack proved to be capable of capturing navigation data as a URL recovery with an error rate of 2.3%.


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Author Biographies

Luiz Henrique Custódio Mendes Marques, Universidade Estadual de Maringá

Master in Computer Science from the State University of Maringá, Paraná/Brazil. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at the same university (UEM). His research interests involve transient execution attacks, side channel attacks, and computer architecture.

Anderson Faustino da Silva, Universidade Estadual de Maringá

PhD in Systems and Computer Engineering fromCOPPE/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro . He is currently an associate professor at the State University of Maringá, Paraná/Brazil. His research interests involve compilers, computer architecture and parallel programming.


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How to Cite

Custódio Mendes Marques, L. H., & Faustino da Silva, A. (2021). MELTWEB: A Transient Execution Attack to Capture Data in Fill Line Buffer. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 20(3), 395–401. Retrieved from