Packets over a LAN are all it takes to trigger serious Rowhammer bit flips
For the first time, researchers have exploited the Rowhammer memory-chip weakness using nothing more than network packets sent over a local area network. The advance is likely to further lower the bar for triggering bit flips that change critical pieces of data stored on vulnerable computers and servers. Until now, Rowhammer exploits had to execute code on targeted machines.
‘Thus far, Rowhammer has been commonly perceived as a dangerous hardware bug that allows attackers capable of executing code on a machine to escalate their privileges,’ the researchers wrote. ‘In this paper, we have shown that Rowhammer is much more dangerous and also allows for remote attacks in practical settings. We show that even at relatively modest network speeds of 10Gbps, it is possible to flip bits in a victim machine from across the network.’