MDS Tool is a free cross-platform security program for Windows and Linux devices that checks whether the system’s hardware is vulnerable to Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) attacks.
Intel disclosed a new group of security issues in its processors on May 14, 2019 that it calls “Microarchitectural Data Sampling”. The flaws are related to speculative execution attacks such as Spectre or Meltdown discovered last year. The issue affects all modern Intel CPUs in servers, desktops, and laptops.
Rogue In-Flight Data Load (RIDL) and Fallout, two MDS attacks, differ from last year’s attacks in several meaningful ways that make them potentially more powerful. The attacks don’t depend on the processor cache and don’t need to make assumptions about the memory layout. They leak arbitrary in-flight data from internal CPU buffers.
Attacks, when carried out successfully, read data from other system processes and could lead to the leaking of sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or cookies.
MDS Tool is a comprehensive program that you may run on your system to find out if it is vulnerable to certain attacks. You can download the program from the MSD Attacks website.
It has been updated recently to integrate vulnerability checks for the disclosed MSD attacks. Just run the program after download and scroll down to the Micro-architectural Data Sampling section of the interface.
There you find whether the system you ran the software program on is vulnerable to the attacks or if it is protected.
If you have not installed patches yet that mitigate the issues, it will report as vulnerable.
Here is a list of resources that offer additional information:
- Chromium Security — About Microarchitectural Data Sampling and responses
- Intel Security — Deep Dive: Intel Analysis of Microarchitectural Data Sampling
- Intel Software Guidance — Microarchitectural Data Sampling
- MDS Attacks — Informational site
- Microsoft Windows Clients — Informational site
- Microsoft Windows Servers — Informational site
- Ubuntu — updates to mitigate MDS
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