Despite being more than one year old, the Meltdown or Spectre vulnerabilities have remained a theoretical threat, and no malware strain or threat actor has ever used any in a real-world attack. Over the course of the last year, system and network administrators have called on the Linux project for options to disable these protections. A report adds: Many argued that the threat is theoretical and could easily be mitigated with proper perimeter defenses, in some scenarios. Even Linus Torvalds has called for a slowdown in the deployment of some performance-hitting Spectre mitigations. The Linux kernel team has reacted positively towards these requests and has been slowly adding controls to disable some of the more problematic mitigations.

[…] The latest effort to have mitigations turned off — and stay down — is the addition of the PR_SPEC_DISABLE_NOEXEC control bit to the Linux kernel. This bit will prevent child processes from starting in a state where the protections for Spectre v4 are still activated, despite being deactivated in the parent process.

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Source:: Slashdot