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AMD chips also vulnerable to Spectre exploit

AMD chips are also vulnerable to Spectre. (Source: AMD)
AMD chips are also vulnerable to Spectre. (Source: AMD)
AMD has revealed that its chips are also vulnerable to the Spectre exploit. Although not as vulnerable as Intel's chips, it is working with operating system vendors and developers to patch affected systems.

AMD has revealed that its chips are also exposed to vulnerabilities exploitable by the Spectre exploit. While arguably not quite as susceptible as Intel’s designs, AMD’s CTO Mark Papermaster has revealed that Google Project Zero Variant 1 (Bounds Check Bypass or Spectre) can affect the company’s silicon. Papermaster said that an operating system patch should be sufficient to nullify the threat.

"We believe this threat can be contained with an operating system (OS) patch and we have been working with OS providers to address this issue,” Papermaster stated. Unfortunately, the first such patch issued by Microsoft this past week bricked some older computers, which Papermaster countered by saying, “We are working closely with [Microsoft] to correct an issue that paused the distribution of patches for some older AMD processors.”

Although AMD’s chips are less vulnerable to the GPZ Variant 2, Papermaster said “AMD’s processor architecture makes it difficult to exploit…” To address this potentiality, AMD is making a series of optional micro code updates available to users who choose to apply it out of an abundance of caution. The first chips to receive these updates will from the Ryzen and EPYC families. Papermaster also indicated that it is working with the Linux community for software fixes coming soon.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-01-14 (Update: 2018-01-14)