Two months ago I have published a detailed survey of various security-related problems plaguing the Intel x86 platforms. While the picture painted in the paper was rather depressing, I also promised to release a 2nd paper discussing – what I believe to be – a reasonably simple and practical solution addressing most of the issues discussed in the 1st paper. Today I’m releasing this 2nd paper.

I think it is the first technical paper I’ve written which is not backed by a working proof-of-concept. Incidentally, it might also be one of the most important ones I have authored or co-authored.

Originally my plan was to team up with several other people and get a prototype available at the time of publication of this paper. But it turned out it would take way more time than I originally though, and so would delay the publication of this 2nd article until probably mid next year or so. Because I believe there is a benefit to publish this idea sooner than later, I decided to wait no longer.

Also, on Sunday (Dec 27th), I will be presenting on this topic at the 32c3 in Hamburg, Germany. It might seem surprising to some that I’m revealing the content of my upcoming presentation a few days before the event, admittedly a rather unusual approach, at least among the “security researchers” circles ;) The reason for doing that is that I won’t have enough time to discuss all the technical details during the 1-hour-only presentation, especially that it is supposed to cover both the content of the 1st and 2nd paper. Yet, computer security is one of these tricky fields to which “the devil is in the details” saying applies like in few other disciplines. So, I wanted to give an opportunity, to some at least, to understand all the details of the presented idea, hoping this will result in more interesting discussions at the congress.

Without boring you, my dear reader, any longer – the PDF of the paper is here, and the Markdown sources can be found in this repo.

Marry Xmas everyone, and looking forward see some of you at the 32c3, in just a couple of days!