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Spectre and Meltdown were issues disclosed at the beginning of this year. Unlike previous bugs, they represent not simple mistakes, but the failure of a fundamental assumption that processor designers have been making for years.
This talk will briefly give an overview of speculation, and how the Spectre and Meltdown attacks work at a high level. It will then give an analysis of how difficult these vulnerabilities are to exploit in Xen, and how the various mitigations work. Finally, I'll describe what I've been calling Panopticon, an approach that should be able to mitigate the worst effects of any future speculation bug.