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OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

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  • OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

    Phoronix: OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

    Security oriented BSD operating system OpenBSD is making the move to disable Hyper Threading (HT) on Intel CPUs and more broadly moving to disable SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) on other CPUs too...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-Disabling-SMT

  • #2
    I can't take this anymore!

    Comment


    • #3
      This is crazy. What's next? Disabling everything for "security" reasons? Typo:

      Originally posted by phoronix View Post
      Phoronix: OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

      Security oriented BSD operating system OpenBSD is making the move to disable Hyper Threading (HT) on Intel CPUs and more broadly moving to disable SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) on other CPUs too...

      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-Disabling-SMT

      Comment


      • #4
        Next step : Burn your cpu and say " Good riddance "

        Comment


        • #5
          SMT isn't adding that much performance - trading in like 30% less performance for security against a number of unfixed side-channels might for sensitive applications be reasonable.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dwagner View Post
            SMT isn't adding that much performance - trading in like 30% less performance for security against a number of unfixed side-channels might for sensitive applications be reasonable.
            For some applications yes, but there are also many applications where SMT allows to almost double performance. So disabling it by default is at very least controversial decision.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
              This is crazy. What's next? Disabling everything for "security" reasons?
              Intel has been sacrificing security for the sake of raw performance and the latest vulnerabilities show this. There's been speculation () that SMT might be the next focus area for researchers after Meltdown/Spectre indicated possible ways of side-channel attacks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nazar-pc View Post
                For some applications yes, but there are also many applications where SMT allows to almost double performance. So disabling it by default is at very least controversial decision.
                Indeed, not to mention that x86 implementation is not the only one. For example POWER9 has both SMT4 and SMT8 versions.

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                • #9
                  If the argument is that different security domains shouldn't share the same physical core, wouldn't it make more sense to enforce that policy at the process scheduler level rather than disabling SMT altogether?

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                  • #10
                    Yes, disable the hyper-threatening!

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