Intel Continues Investing In Execute-Only Memory Support For The Linux Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 15 September 2019 at 08:05 AM EDT. 5 Comments
INTEL --
One of the steps Intel's open-source developers continue working on for Linux is supporting "execute only memory" that will already work with some of today's processors and serve as another defense for bettering the security of systems particularly in a virtualized environment.

Ultimately they have been working on an implementation to create execute-only memory for user-space programs similar to work already done for other architectures as well as the kernel itself. This "not-readable" memory would help when paired with other precautions like address space layout randomization (ASLR) for leaking less data about the system (i.e. where different bits are in memory) to make other exploits more difficult.

The Intel developers believe the execute-only memory approach will have a "negligible performance cost" but at this stage their code is mostly at the proof of concept stage.

Those wanting to learn more about Intel's execute-only memory Linux plans can see this PDF slide deck that was presented at this week's Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon.

About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

Related Intel News
Popular News This Week