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Siemens Informs Customers of New Meltdown, Spectre Variants

Siemens recently updated its security bulletin for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities to inform customers of the latest variants, specifically the ones known as LazyFP and Spectre 1.1.

Siemens recently updated its security bulletin for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities to inform customers of the latest variants, specifically the ones known as LazyFP and Spectre 1.1.

Several industrial control systems (ICS) vendors published security advisories for the CPU flaws shortly after they were disclosed in early January. Siemens published a bulletin on speculative side-channel vulnerabilities on January 11.

In late May, the company updated its bulletin to include information about Variant 3a and Variant 4, which are also known as Spectre-NG. On Tuesday, Siemens once again updated the security bulletin to describe the variants known as LazyFP, a medium severity Meltdown-like flaw disclosed in mid-June and tracked as CVE-2018-3665, and Spectre 1.1, disclosed earlier this month and tracked as CVE-2017-5753.

LazyFP is related to the floating point unit (FPU), also known as the math coprocessor. Researchers discovered that if certain conditions are met an attacker may be able to access FPU state data, which can contain sensitive information, such as cryptographic keys.

Spectre 1.1, described as a bounds check bypass store (BCBS) issue, was disclosed along with Spectre 1.2. Intel awarded $100,000 to the researchers who identified these variants.

While LazyFP and Spectre 1.1 are related to the original Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, CPU and operating system vendors are not as concerned about their impact.

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Siemens has advised customers to keep an eye out for software and firmware updates provided for operating systems and processors, but warned that some of these updates “can result in compatibility, performance or stability issues.”

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The German industrial giant continues to analyze the impact of these vulnerabilities on its products.

In the case of the original Meltdown and Spectre flaws, they have been found to impact many Siemens products, including SIMATIC, RUGGEDCOM, SIMOTION, SINEMA and SINUMERIK devices. The company has released both software and BIOS updates, along with workarounds and mitigations.

Related: Siemens Patches Flaws in SIMATIC Controllers, Mobile Apps

Related: Flaws Expose Siemens Central Plant Clocks to Attacks

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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