Spectre & Meltdown Checker – Vulnerability Mitigation Tool For Linux

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Spectre & Meltdown Checker is a simple shell script to tell if your Linux installation is vulnerable against the 3 “speculative execution” CVEs that were made public early 2018.

Spectre & Meltdown Checker - Vulnerability Mitigation Tool For Linux


Without options, it’ll inspect you currently running kernel. You can also specify a kernel image on the command line, if you’d like to inspect a kernel you’re not running.

The script will do its best to detect mitigations, including backported non-vanilla patches, regardless of the advertised kernel version number.

Summary of the CVEs in Spectre & Meltdown Checker

CVE-2017-5753 bounds check bypass (Spectre Variant 1)

  • Impact: Kernel & all software
  • Mitigation: recompile software and kernel with a modified compiler that introduces the LFENCE opcode at the proper positions in the resulting code
  • Performance impact of the mitigation: negligible

CVE-2017-5715 branch target injection (Spectre Variant 2)

  • Impact: Kernel
  • Mitigation 1: new opcode via microcode update that should be used by up to date compilers to protect the BTB (by flushing indirect branch predictors)
  • Mitigation 2: introducing “retpoline” into compilers, and recompile software/OS with it
  • Performance impact of the mitigation: high for mitigation 1, medium for mitigation 2, depending on your CPU

CVE-2017-5754 rogue data cache load (Meltdown)

  • Impact: Kernel
  • Mitigation: updated kernel (with PTI/KPTI patches), updating the kernel is enough
  • Performance impact of the mitigation: low to medium

There are some other more generic BASH scripts for security scanning like:

unix-privesc-check – Unix/Linux User Privilege Escalation Scanner
LinEnum – Linux Enumeration & Privilege Escalation Tool

You can download Spectre & Meltdown Checker here:

spectre-meltdown-checker.sh

Or read more here.

Posted in: Security Software

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