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Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2015 12:58:36 -0400
From: Zack Weinberg <>
Subject: Re: Compiler support for erasure of sensitive data

On 09/09/2015 12:52 PM, wrote:
> Then again, suppose all you had is explicit_bzero, and an annotation
> on the data saying it's sensitive.  Can static code analyzers take
> care of the rest?  If so, this sort of thing doesn't need to be in
> the compiler.

The thing that absolutely has to be implemented in the compiler (AFAICT)
is register clearing.  I'm undecided as to how *necessary* that is.
There certainly can be a lot of sensitive data in registers (e.g. AESNI
puts an entire AES key schedule in xmm registers).  I don't know of any
exploits that depended on salvaging such data from registers, but I
don't follow exploit research closely.


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