Tag Archives: hyper-threading

Hyper-Threading Vulnerability

Hyper-Threading technology, built into some Intel Pentium 4 central processing unit (CPU) microprocessors can be exploited by crackers and allow access to security keys. A description of the timing attack was presented Friday by a Colin Percival, a computer science researcher, at the BSDCan 2005 conference. Intel’s Hyper-Threading (HT) algorithm enables Pentium CPUs to maximize the efficiency of the processing system. According to Intel’s website, with HT technology “desktop users can experience greater system responsiveness and performance when multitasking. At home, users can encode audio and video at the same time, or run a virus scan in the background while continuing to play their favorite game. In the office, HT Technology enables IT managers to deploy PC services such as encryption, compression or backup technologies while minimizing the impact on PC user productivity. In addition, multitasking business workers can experience greater system responsiveness, enabling increased productivity. In summary, the Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology delivers a new level of performance and PC responsiveness for consumers and business professionals.”

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