Understanding the Meltdown Attack

This month, security researchers released a whitepaper describing the Meltdown attack, which allows anyone to read the full physical memory of a system by exploiting a vulnerability in Intel processors. If that sounds bad, that’s because it is. It means that if you’re running workloads on a public cloud provider, and you don’t have a dedicated server, an attacker can read what your workloads are putting into memory. This includes passwords, private keys, credit card numbers, your cat’s middle name, etc.