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Main page Software Security Checklist Issue Handling Advisories Notes On Risk Advisory Template More


Title:       EGI SVG 'ADVISORY' [TLP:WHITE] 'HIGH' risk Kernel Side-Channel Attack using Speculative Store Bypass 
             - CVE-2018-3639 [EGI-SVG-CVE-2018-3639] 

Date:        2018-05-24

Affected software and risk

HIGH risk vulnerability in modern microprocessors allowing Kernel Side-Channel Attack using Speculative Store Bypass.  

Package : Intel and other microprocessors 
CVE ID  : CVE-2018-3639, CVE-2018-3640

This vulnerability allows a malicious, unprivileged user to use this flaw to read privileged system memory 
and/or memory outside of a sandboxed environment. [R 1], [R 2], [R 3], [R 4]

Actions required/recommended

Sites should apply the software patches providing mitigation when they are available for the operating system in use. 
Note that these operating system patches only provide mitigation, they do not guarantee to fully eliminate the vulnerability.

Sites should also apply hardware 'microcode' when they are available for the microprocessors in use. 

Component installation information

For RedHat enterprise Linux see  [R 5] 

For Scientific Linux see [R 6] 

For CentOS see [R 7] 

For Ubuntu see [R 8]

For Debian see [R 9] (Mitigation patch not available yet)

Also see chip manufacturers sites for updates. At present none are available. 

Information including which packages have mitigation, and links other information including chip manufacturers 
updates will be placed on the EGI SVG wiki at:--


More information

CVE-2018-3639 has been described as Variant 4: Speculative Store Bypass. 

CVE-2018-3640 has been described as Variant 3a: Rogue System Register Read. 

RedHat states that 'To fully mitigate this vulnerability, system administrators must apply both hardware 
microcode updates and software patches that enable new functionality.' 

Information on microcode updates is expected to be provided by the manufacturers.


** WHITE information - Unlimited distribution 
- see for distribution restrictions***                       


Minor updates may be made without re-distribution to the sites


Comments or questions should be sent to svg-rat  at

If you find or become aware of another vulnerability which is relevant to EGI you may report it by e-mail to  

report-vulnerability at
the EGI Software Vulnerability Group will take a look according to the procedure defined in [R 10]  

Note that this has been updated and the latest version approved by the Operations Management Board in November 2017


[R 1]

[R 2]

[R 3]

[R 4]

[R 5]

[R 6]

[R 7]

[R 8]  

[R 9] 

[R 10]


SVG was alerted to this vulnerability by Vincent Brillault 

Yyyy-mm-dd  [EGI-SVG-2018-CVE-2018-3639] 

2018-05-22 SVG alerted to this issue by Vincent Brillault
2018-05-22 Acknowledgement from the EGI SVG to the reporter
2018-05-22 Investigation of vulnerability and relevance to EGI carried out by (as appropriate) 
2018-05-23 EGI SVG Risk Assessment completed
2018-05-24 Advisory sent to sites


This advisory has been prepared as part of the effort to fulfil EGI SVG's purpose 
"To minimize the risk to the EGI infrastructure arising from software vulnerabilities"

The risk is that assessed by the group, according to the EGI SVG issue handling procedure [R 10]  
in the context of how the software is used in the EGI infrastructure. It is the opinion of the group, 
we do not guarantee it to be correct. The risk may also be higher or lower in other deployments 
depending on how the software is used.   

Others may re-use this information provided they:-

1) Respect the provided TLP classification

2) Credit the EGI Software Vulnerability Group

On behalf of the EGI SVG,