To prevent the just-exposed Zombieload v2 attack, both the Microsoft Windows and Linux kernel teams introduced methods to turn off Intel TSX. The Zombieload vulnerability is tSX-related, similar to the previously disclosed Meltdown, Spectre, and “Spectre” vulnerabilities, and is used to implement data breaches across threads, permission boundaries, and hyperthreads using predictive execution.
The Zombieload V2 vulnerability revealed this week could affect recently released Intel processors. Intel released microcode updates to fix the latest vulnerabilities, but patches can have a serious impact on performance. To avoid impacting performance, many organizations may choose not to update microcodes, or prefer to disable vulnerability-related technologies. The Microsoft and Linux kernel teams have released ways to turn off TSX.