ClusterVision Whitepaper: Impact of Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities on HPC

17 Jan 2018 Amsterdam - A white paper by Daniël Mantione, HPC System Architect at ClusterVision, addresses some of the implications of Meltdown and Spectre for HPC. These vulnerabilities have only been discovered recently, so information is still developing. Therefore, this document should not be interpreted as a complete overview of the situation but as an informative view of the potential impact on HPC.

These two security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs have recently been published. The vulnerabilities are hardware-based and therefore have a potentially very broad impact which cannot be easily patched without consequences. Colloquially referred to as "Meltdown" and "Spectre", these vulnerabilities refer to attacks that can allow malicious programmes to steal data from the memory of other programmes.

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