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You may already be aware of a recent security flaw disclosed in respect to Intel processors (other processors may be affected but as yet no confirmed reports) as used in IT systems, these flaws have been named Meltdown and Spectre.
These flaws have the potential to allow an attacker to bypass kernel access protections such that regular apps can read the content of kernel memory. However it is important to note that there have been no reports of anybody exploiting this vulnerability at this stage.
The mitigation is to provide isolation between apps and the kernel by means of OS/Application patches and firmware updates for affected processors, however, there is potential that the extra software processing and mitigation methods may have some impact to system performance, but this is very dependent on workloads and how they use speculative processing of data.
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