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HPC Vulnerabilities- Meltdown and Spectre

Two security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs have recently been publicised, causing widespread concern in the computing industry. This is because 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 programs to steal data from the memory of other programs.

A new white paper written 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.

ClusterVision experts already made several experiences on its clusters in order to analyse the impact of the kernel-patch on performance.

Read the white paper below, or click here to view in full-screen or download the white paper.