Potential Vulnerability with Intel® LAN Products with SR-IOV

Intel ID:  INTEL-SA-00046
Product family:  Intel® LAN products with SR-IOV capability
Impact of vulnerability Denial of Service
Severity rating Moderate
Original release:  Aug 12, 2015
Last revised:  Aug 12, 2015
Summary: 

A potential issue impacting Intel® LAN products with SR-IOV capability is expected to be publicly disclosed by security researchers at an industry conference on August 13, 2015.

Description: 

In Intel® LAN products with SR-IOV capability, the potential exists where, under specific conditions, Virtual Machines (VMs) can cause network congestion spreading, a well-known side-effect of Ethernet flow control, which could affect other VMs as well as the Hypervisor itself. Details of this research will be presented at USENIX Security 2015.

Affected products: 

Intel® X710, Intel® 82599, Intel® X540, Intel® I350, and Intel® 82576 Ethernet devices.

Recommendations: 

Intel is developing and validating a software driver update to mitigate the issue for potentially impacted customers. Microsoft Windows, Linux and VMware ESX physical function driver updates will be provided to actively thwart or detect and recover from the issue to potentially impacted customers. Driver updates are expected to be available in October 2015 and distributed through our normal driver update processes.

A short-term work around is to either discontinue use of SR-IOV, disable flow control or enforce VLAN tagging on VF generated network traffic. As the exact step-by-step methods for how to implement these workarounds vary by operating system and Ethernet switch vendor, Intel recommends consulting the relevant configuration and usage manuals to configure and verify these workarounds.

Acknowledgements: 

Igor Smolyar, Muli Ben-Yehuda, and Dan Tsafrir, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology

Revision history: 

Revision
Date
Description
1.0
13-August-2015
Initial Release


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