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Experts show how to defeat AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization

German researchers devised a method, dubbedSEVered, to defeat the security mechanisms Secure Encrypted Virtualization implemented by the AMD Epyc server microchips to automatically encrypt virtual machines in memory.

The attack could allow them to exfiltrate data in plaintext from an encrypted guest via a hijacked hypervisor and simple HTTP requests to a web server running in a second guest on the same machine.

The Secure Encrypted Virtualization feature allows to encrypt anddecrypt virtual machines on the fly while stored in RAM to protect them from snooping on VMs.

Thanks to theSecure Encrypted Virtualization,hijacked hypervisor, kernel, driver, or malware should be able to snoop on a protected virtual machine.

The team of Fraunhofer AISEC researchers, composed of Mathias Morbitzer, Manuel Huber, Julian Horsch and Sascha Wessel, demonstrated that theSEVeredtechnique could to bypass Secure Encrypted Virtualization protections and copy information from a virtual machine.


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