The good news is that moving forwards, Intel has announced that starting with its Tiger Lake CPUs, they will be building hardware-based malware protection. This will come in the form of the Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology which according to the company, will be able to protect users against the attack we mentioned above.
According to Intel, “Intel CET offers software developers two key capabilities to help defend against control-flow hijacking malware: indirect branch tracking and shadow stack. Indirect branch tracking delivers indirect branch protection to defend against jump/call-oriented programming (JOP/COP) attack methods. Shadow stack delivers return address protection to help defend against return-oriented programming (ROP) attack methods.”
Intel has also said that they are working with Microsoft to integrate the feature in Windows 10, although it will only work on newer computers that uses Intel processors that have CET instructions. Intel has come under fire in the recent years over certain exploits such as Meltdown and Spectre. Hopefully with these new protections, Intel will be able to avoid similar controversies in the future.