What are the possible consequences of a cache miss? In other word, is it possible that a cache miss could cause a security threat?

Thank you.

  • Are you thinking about a specific threat? How about a specific cache? – Neil Smithline Sep 29 '15 at 20:02
  • Don't cross-post please – Neil McGuigan Sep 29 '15 at 20:16
  • 2
    In what context? "Cache miss" may occur in several situations (I would see more threat in a cache hit, actually - more of a privacy issue than a security threat, perhaps). – LSerni Sep 29 '15 at 21:29

Yes, cache misses can be used in timing attacks.

Place an octet string on a page boundary, validate from left to right. If a cache miss occurs than everything up to the cache miss is correct, because otherwise the verification would have stopped (hence: always test all characters of a password / PIN etc.). A cache miss is more likely to be detected than simply counting the bytes that are validated as a cache miss will take many more CPU cycles (hundreds) instead of just a few.

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