The speculative execution side channel attacks known as Meltdown and Spectre affect a majority of modern computational devices. While Nvidia has claimed its own GPU hardware is 'immune' to these exploits, it did promise to push out new drivers for its products that would help mitigate the issue on the CPU side.
The chipmaker is acting on its promise today with the release of the GeForce 390.65 WHQL drivers that aim to fix potential issues in the display driver. Variant CVE-2017-5753 of Spectre is specifically addressed by the update, while Nvidia suggests a second variant of the attack - CVE-2017-571 - may potentially affect its display driver as well. The company has promised a fix is being worked on to address this.
Given the immunity of the GPUs themselves to these CPU vulnerabilities, you may be wondering as to what the reasoning for Nvidia's pushing updates to its display driver is. Spectre, which is the more challenging of the two vulnerabilities to address, relies on other applications and software in order to steal privileged information. The GeForce display driver has in-depth kernel access and, given its high degree of access to the system, it's imperative that fixes be made available as soon as possible.
Fixes for other Nvidia products, such as the Android-powered Shield Table and Shield TV, were also made available this week.
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