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What Does Rowhammer Mean?

Rowhammer or row hammer is a type of cyber-attack that exploits a bug in dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) modules manufactured in 2010 and onwards. This vulnerability can even be exploited via JavaScript, allowing an attacker to escape a Web browser’s security sandbox and gain access to the system.


Techopedia Explains Rowhammer

The problem with rowhammer has to do with the design of the affected DRAM modules. DRAM cells are stored in rows and are arranged very close to each other to increase density. Security tests showed that repeatedly activating rows of memory, e.g., successively writing data to them, can cause the electrical charge of a cell to leak to adjacent cells, resulting in random bit flips, which can affect or alter the memory contents. This repeated activation of rows, which is akin to “hammering” a row, is how the term got its name.


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