ROWHAMMER: DRAM hardware vulnerability

“Rowhammer” is a known problem with some of the latest DRAM chips, making PCs and laptops vulnerable to bit flips as result of repeated access to adjacent memory rows. When running on a system with susceptible DRAM modules, with some luck, carefully crafted exploit code might be able to gain full access to physical memory, thus escaping protection mechanisms and gaining control over the system.

This vulnerability is a direct result of ever increasing DRAM density, packing yet smaller cells even closer together. As a result, accessing one location in memory can influence neighbouring locations, due to inevitable charge leaks during read/write memory cycles.

More details about “Rowhammer” vulnerability can be found here:
http://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2015/03/exploiting-dram-rowhammer-bug-to-gain.html

While full memory access does sound scary, there are some good news: the researchers were not able to flip any bits on systems with ECC RAM.
This means that Alnitech’s customers may sleep soundly, since:
1) we use enterprise-grade hardware exclusively with ECC memory;
2) all ECC errors are logged by BMC and monitored by us via IPMI.

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