A Cloudy Problem

Spectre and Meltdown are not really a massive concern for home computers – sure it is an exploit but unlikely to be used.  The actual problem is focused on the world of virtualization and, in that regard, cloud-based EVERYTHING is open and vulnerable.  Despite the supposed patches that are being released, the reality is that cloud systems cannot be readily patched with anything that slows down performance.

The reason for this challenge is technical but it really comes down to speed and how fast data has to be processed in order to keep up with tons of virtual machines running at the same time.  Placing any type of throttle in that process is death and using the type of intrusive monitoring and blocking tools these patches will provide is a nonstarter.

So what is the issue?  Simply put, a hacker in one virtual machine can root down into the physical processor underneath the virtual machine, find another virtual machine that is running and flow up into the new machine.  Since they are coming up from underneath, there is no protection and open access.

The Fix

Bear has a unique technology that sits on both the physical and virtual layers and, as such, can track all data flowing at each level.  Importantly, Bear is the last thing to touch data as it flows out of a virtual/physical device and the first thing to touch data as it flows in.  To this end, Bear can actually track the data intended to be outbound and ensure that the outbound virtual traffic leaves the physical device instead of flowing back up through an internal circuit.

Bear is able to identify internal traffic that leaves a virtual machine but not the physical host and then block that traffic from entering any other virtual machine.  Because of where Bear sits and how this process works, there would be no performance decrement, no thread model changes and no impact to businesses.  Better yet, Bear can continuously change this tracking and avoid replay and other attacks that succeed over time.

Imagine an adaptive solution to not only this hack but future hacks – one that does not slow down computers and actually enforces privacy in the cloud domain.