Intel bore the brunt of criticism for a series of side-channel vulnerabilities affecting decades of processors, namely Spectre and Meltdown, along with subsequent software patches that can negatively impact performance in some instances. In partial response to this, Intel is working on hardware-level safeguards for its future CPUs. Starting with Tiger Lake, we will see one such implementation.

The new security capability is called Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET). As the name implies, it is intended to prevent hackers from leveraging control-flow hijacking attacks, which essentially entails a wide range of malware that abuses legitimate code. According to Intel, CET will “help protect against common malware attack methods that have been a challenge to mitigate with software alone.”

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