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AMD Security

Researchers Find Critical Vulnerabilities in AMD's Ryzen and EPYC Processors, But They Gave the Chipmaker Only 24 Hours Before Making the Findings Public (cnet.com) 195

Alfred Ng, reporting for CNET: Researchers have discovered critical security flaws in AMD chips that could allow attackers to access sensitive data from highly guarded processors across millions of devices. Particularly worrisome is the fact that the vulnerabilities lie in the so-called secure part of the processors -- typically where your device stores sensitive data like passwords and encryption keys. It's also where your processor makes sure nothing malicious is running when you start your computer. CTS-Labs, a security company based in Israel, announced Tuesday that its researchers had found 13 critical security vulnerabilities that would let attackers access data stored on AMD's Ryzen and EPYC processors, as well as install malware on them. Ryzen chips power desktop and laptop computers, while EPYC processors are found in servers. The researchers gave AMD less than 24 hours to look at the vulnerabilities and respond before publishing the report. Standard vulnerability disclosure calls for 90 days' notice so that companies have time to address flaws properly. An AMD spokesperson said, "At AMD, security is a top priority and we are continually working to ensure the safety of our users as new risks arise. We are investigating this report, which we just received, to understand the methodology and merit of the findings," an AMD spokesman said. Zack Whittaker, a security reporter at CBS, said: Here's the catch: AMD had less than a day to look at the research. No wonder why its response is so vague.
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Researchers Find Critical Vulnerabilities in AMD's Ryzen and EPYC Processors, But They Gave the Chipmaker Only 24 Hours Before M

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:05PM (#56252765)

    ... someone needs to dig (deep) into who registered the amdflaw domain and who is funding this.

    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:12PM (#56252823)
      Yes, couple days to respond is a hit job and not a responsible disclosure. However, if AMD and Intel get into "flaw disclosure" wars, the only winner will be consumers. This is not a bad thing.
      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:43PM (#56253057)

        Care to inform me how I would be the winner if flaws in hardware become published with ZERO chance for their makers to deliver any kind of patch before malware creators get a chance to exploit them?

        • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @01:15PM (#56253303) Homepage

          Care to inform me how I would be the winner if flaws in hardware become published with ZERO chance for their makers to deliver any kind of patch before malware creators get a chance to exploit them?

          The place this hole is, is the AMD version of IME, a useless piece of malware designed to remote-controlled your computer, which Intel and AMD puts there for enterprise purposes. Get rid of it from or make it default off and these issues goes away...

          I have no fucking clue why they installed those crappy Internet-of-shit operating systems in there by default in the first place.

          • Exports to (insert not-so-friendly-state-here) and a government wanting to have a convenient kill switch could be a reason.

          • I have no fucking clue why they installed those crappy Internet-of-shit operating systems in there by default in the first place.

            Then you should start by reading the manual and going over the years of history of what bulk customers have been asking for.

        • by sinij ( 911942 )

          Care to inform me how I would be the winner if flaws in hardware become published with ZERO chance for their makers to deliver any kind of patch before malware creators get a chance to exploit them?

          Listing your assumptions: You assume that nobody knew about these flaws before this press release. You assume that release contained sufficient information allowing some quickly reproduce these and move into exploitation. You assume that these could be remotely exploited so your are automatically vulnerable with any kind of system. You assume that these could be successfuly patched resulting in a stable and secure system.

          Some of these assumptions might turn out to be false.

          • I assume that a lot fewer hostile actors knew of this flaw before the press release and that the information is sufficient to at the very least spend resources on finding out how to exploit it. Yes. And I dare say with some confidence that this assumption is valid.

      • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

        Yes, couple days to respond is a hit job and not a responsible disclosure.

        It's responsible enough for Tavis Ormandy [arstechnica.com]. You can simply make up your own shortened periods [arstechnica.com] rather than sticking to a standard 60-90 period. Just make up an excuse and fire away...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Pretty clearly Intel-funded, yes. The 24h notification period is so short that it can be classified as a malicious attack. Nobody with any understanding of how this works does this unless there are strong overriding concerns. What these corrupt a******* did makes people a lot less secure.

      • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:35PM (#56252997) Journal

        Devil's Advocate: the disclosure(s) is (are) vague as hell on exploit details, let alone demonstrations or proof-of-concepts, so there is that.

        All said though, still a dick move by CTS-Labs.

        • by q4Fry ( 1322209 )

          Devil's Advocate: the disclosure(s) is (are) vague as hell on exploit details, let alone demonstrations or proof-of-concepts, so there is that.

          I'm not disagreeing here, and I know nothing about the details, but wouldn't that be the ideal competitor-funded FUD? "I'm not going to tell you all the details, but here's an elephant being electrocuted by AC^H^H AMD. How do you explain that, Mr. Tesla?"

          Of course, what I'm doing here is Intel-FUD, so maybe I'm just a shill the other way. :^O

        • All said though, still a dick move by CTS-Labs.

          Who? This is all I've ever heard of them.

          Then again: Any media attention is good.

        • Violating KISS principles got Intel and AMD into this mess. There's plenty of room on the die and they're quite capable of making SMP cheap and affordable. SMP is better than multicore because each core gets more cache and more bus. They deserve what they get and I have no sympathy.

          Tools to verify the hardware description language exist, they can use simulators to test the hardware, if they are skimping on QA in order to cut costs, then they have no-one to blame but themselves.

      • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @03:10PM (#56254265)

        Pretty clearly Intel-funded, yes.

        Pretty clearly? Based on what evidence? All you've done is speculated as to motive.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I retract that, this is far too obvious and amateur-level for Intel. This is a stock-scam.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 )

      Yes, the combination of publication within a day and registering an AMD-denigrating domain for the purpose stinks. As others have written already, it looks like a PR hit job.

      With a quick Google search (5 minutes) I could also find nothing substantial about CTS Labs. They have a professional looking website with quite a bit of Bullshit Bingo appeal, and a contact e-mail address on it.
      Otherwise not much:
      -no postal address
      -no references from past projects
      One might wo

      • Yes, the combination of publication within a day and registering an AMD-denigrating domain for the purpose stinks. . . a PR hit job. [emphasis mine]
        . . .
        One might wonder if this is more than a shell company ;-)

        How do these tiny, unknown shell companies find zero-day flaws that no one else can?

        Must be super-geniuses -- or maybe just sloppy hacks poorly covering their tracks when attempting defamation.

    • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @03:17PM (#56254325) Homepage Journal

      Have to agree that the intent behind this super-fast disclosure looks malicious. It follows that the research was probably undertaken with malicious intent as well.

      A very large chunk of Intel's operations are based in Israel, so that is one possible motivation for Israelis to go after AMD, which is based in the EU. Its widely known that the EU fined Intel over a $billion for threatening PC makers to avoid using too many AMD chips in PC products. There is revanchism and monopolist warfare going on here.

  • by e r ( 2847683 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:06PM (#56252779)
    These vulnerabilities look like they are almost all problems with the chipset or AMD's equivalent to Intel's Management Engine.
    So these aren't quite on par with Spectre and Meltdown.

    Some firmware updates should fix almost all of this.
    Still, it was sort of an asshole move to only give AMD 24 hours' notice just so they could get their 15 minutes of fame.
    And, yes, it's disgusting to see AMD put out products with lots of weaknesses like this.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:41PM (#56253035) Journal

      Saying they aren't on par with Spectre or Meltdown is missing the point - it's an apples to oranges comparison, just like IME's many problems aren't comparable to Spectre or Meltdown.

      It's not clear that firmware updates can fix it -- it depends on whether it's something that can be updated in firmware. Many security-critical hardware designs doesn't allow firmware updates, because at that stage modifiable firmware is a security hole in and of itself.

      At the end of the day, it sounds like AMD's Secure Processor has similar problems as Intel's Management Engine. It's not exactly unexpected, as every remote management 'feature' of the type has historically been riddled with security holes, regardless of vendor.

      I can't help but wonder, though, what the source of "24 hours notice" is; the articles I saw don't explain. I recall in years past, there are cases where researchers tried for months to get Microsoft to take their claims seriously. Microsoft wouldn't even acknowledge them, and when the researchers released it as a zero-day, and Microsoft shrieked they weren't given any notice...

      If AMD really was only given 24 hours notice, it was outrageously unprofessional and unethical behavior by the research company.

      Honestly, I'm more willing to believe corporate America would lie in an attempt to CYA than researchers would act in a way so unethical that nobody will work with them in the future.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:06PM (#56252781) Homepage
    https://amdflaws.com/ [amdflaws.com] for the actual exploits detailed. the "whitepaper" is mostly fluff, unless you enjoy pretty icons and charts..completely remiss of any technical implementation details outside of how vulnerable Windows is to this flaw. Idiotic green screen video confirms this exploit appears to have more studio production value than actual security value. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:18PM (#56252865)
      I feel like in the aftermath of Heartbleed it started to become common for researchers to try to brand their discoveries and are increasingly hyping hoping the mainstream press covers which works as an advertisement for the researcher and their org.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      At this point we have no idea how bad this is. Could be that AMD release a patch next week and it's all fixed, no fuss. Could be as bad as Meltdown, with a major performance hit. Or it could be complete bullshit. We just don't know.

      • I'm kind of wondering that myself. They're (somewhat fortunately) quite vague with describing the flaws... A couple of them *appear* to be remote-exploit flaws (almost couldn't give a flying fuck about local privilege escalations, save for specific circumstances I won't detail here, though you'd pretty much be able to find parallel circumstnaces in your own workworld.)

        Then again, it's hard to tell at first glance. One one hand I'm glad they didn't bother with exploit POC/demonstrations, but on the other, th

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I don't think any of them are remotely exploitable, but these days you have to worry about Javascript running locally too.

          For servers local exploits are a problem too, especially those running VMs.

      • At this point we have no idea how bad this is. Could be that AMD release a patch next week and it's all fixed, no fuss. Could be as bad as Meltdown, with a major performance hit. Or it could be complete bullshit. We just don't know.

        It is apparently a just a scam, the company behind had shorted AMD stocks, and have been caught and warned over similar scams in the past

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:09PM (#56252803)

    This all smells fishy. Hand me the tin-foil. I need a hat.

  • Follow the money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spaceman375 ( 780812 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:14PM (#56252839)

    In collusion with intel or not, I'd bet these "researchers" have bought a bunch of intel stock over the last few months.

    • if you get caught money laundering your going to fpmitap

    • In collusion with intel or not, I'd bet these "researchers" have bought a bunch of intel stock over the last few months.

      Or they've shorted AMD and really need to knock down the price. For what it's worth as I write this AMD's stock is actually slightly up today despite the news.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Well, maybe the stock-market is not so easily panicked by what at the moment amounts to hot air.

        • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

          Are you actually implying that fund managers would have any idea what to make of this at all?

        • It's not hot air. They're have PoCs that are corroborated by research firms.
          The company is a pile of shit- these guys are evil- but it's real, and it's a big deal.
          I suspect they stand to benefit somehow from the hit against AMD, but the shit they're peddling is legit.
          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            Nonsense. If somebody can put in their own BIOS or has signed drivers, then there is no need to verify anything. These are not vulnerabilities that can be fixed or are unknown or unexpected by any real expert.

    • Re:Follow the money (Score:5, Informative)

      by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @06:27PM (#56255411)

      They literally spell it out on their disclaimer page. [amdflaws.com]

      Although we have a good faith belief in our analysis and believe it to be objective and unbiased, you are advised that we may have, either directly or indirectly, an economic interest in the performance of the securities of the companies whose products are the subject of our reports.

      So while these exploits might be real, they just straight up fess to being shady as shit. This is some blackballing level of unethical behavior. They literally hit and run AMD for profit. Whoever these engineers are, this whole episode should be the end of any future career they might have had and it just stops short of what I would think would constitute an outright FTC investigation.

      Twenty-four hour notice and then posting publicly the exploits isn't research, that's a willful attack.

      • They literally spell it out on their disclaimer page. [amdflaws.com]

        Although we have a good faith belief in our analysis and believe it to be objective and unbiased, you are advised that we may have, either directly or indirectly, an economic interest in the performance of the securities of the companies whose products are the subject of our reports.

        So while these exploits might be real, they just straight up fess to being shady as shit. This is some blackballing level of unethical behavior. They literally hit and run AMD for profit. Whoever these engineers are, this whole episode should be the end of any future career they might have had and it just stops short of what I would think would constitute an outright FTC investigation.

        Twenty-four hour notice and then posting publicly the exploits isn't research, that's a willful attack.

        The exploits are reported as serious by a few independent researchers who seem to have been given extra info, but do require that you have *already* powned the target.

        And, somehow a short-seller named Viceroy saw fit to put out a report advising people to short AMD stock [streetinsider.com] because they claimed to believe that this flaw would drive AMD to bankruptcy!

        Definitely a money grab by CTS Labs. (I'll make a guess that Viceroy are dupes and are not intentionally doing something worth a visit from the SEC...)

  • Intel any thing to win! suck it up as soon you will an raid key and an pci-e lane key to unlock stuff on your cpu.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So it appears an attacker would have to have gained root/admin access over the OS before they could then install some persistent backdoor?

    Attacking the TPM could be bad, but once you have kernel level access you pretty much have anything you need to steal data anyway.

    This one seems to have higher barrier to entry and a lot of assumptions versus just drive-by JavaScript executing code or a malicious guest VM breaking out of a hypervisor.

    I expect the CVSSv3 score to be medium.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. If you have root on the machine, you can basically do anything anyways.

      • The underlying concept of secure enclaves/trust zones/secure coprocessors and such are that root does *not* own them. That they are a safe place to put data even in the case of root misbehaving/having been owned.
        Now, the chipset... that's more of a gray area... but still unsigned code execution and *installation* after a simple root exploit is pretty fucking terrible.
        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          That is bullshit for those weak of mind. You can always manipulate critical components of a system. The "locked down" TPM and so are primarily to prevent people from installing non-Windows OSes. Just refer to all those TPMs from Infinion that were recently found to be insecure.

    • Plug a usb drive in to a machine, load your own OS, insert persistent undetectable malware, profit?

      • Exactly. That's why it's a big deal. Not just persistent malware, but persistent and undetectable malware. It could be installed at any point in the physical delivery of the device to whatever mission critical application ("AMD- It's in your plane!") you have in mind for it.
        I'm wondering if the people screaming "it takes root, this is a nothingburger" are shills or... not using their entire intellectual faculties.
        • by bongey ( 974911 )
          Shit for brains, if you have local access and root is basically how ALL computer systems update their firmware. There aren't magically firmware update fairies.
  • by jmdevince ( 1175647 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:26PM (#56252915)
    CTS Labs only registered their domain (cts-labs.com) 6 months ago. They registered amdflaws.com 2018-02-22. So they spent time tweaking the marketing material. This is nothing but a new company trying to make a name for themselves and have instead pissed off true security researchers by not following responsible disclosure. From CTS' own site: "Due to the sensitive nature of security vulnerabilities, we usually work under strict mutual NDAs with our customers to ensure maximum safety and privacy". ... Horseshit.
    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:30PM (#56252943) Homepage Journal

      I used to be a full disclosure guy.

      I grew up.

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @01:40PM (#56253477) Journal

      The sentence on the web site was probably edited from:

      "Due to the sensitive nature of security vulnerabilities, we usually work under strict mutual NDAs with our customers to ensure maximum safety and privacy. If you would like to become one of our customers by handing over a signed NDA and a fat bag of money, you can contact us at the following email address. Should we find a flaw in a product that is not produced by one of our NDA partners, we'll first ask them for a fat bag of money, and if they don't immediately capitulate, we'll be publishing their dirty laundry as "full disclosure with previous notification".

      Somehow I have a feeling that the "disclosure" to AMD included the offer of a mutual NDA and business-to-business financial arrangement, with AMD telling them to pound it.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, I doubt they will get many real customers. They have already demonstrated that they are willing to screw a lot of people for a bit if publicity. Will be interesting to see whether their claims actually can hold water. At the moment that looks more than doubtful.

    • I smell a conspiracy. You know who else is based in Israel? THE JEWS!!! No, just kidding. But seriously folks, who know who there's a lot of in Israel? Jews, that's who. No, no no, actually there's a lot of Intel employees and facilities in Israel [intel.com]. Intel is desperate for anything that makes them look good right now, and the next best thing is anything that makes the competition look bad. There may be Jews involved, but I suspect what's most relevant is that if there are, they're connected to Intel somehow.

    • They haven't released any details on how to execute the vulnerability.

      How is this not responsible disclosure?
      Perhaps AMD refused to sign an NDA?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:27PM (#56252925)

    All of those "vulnerabilities" have insane requirements like being able to defeat OEM BIOS flash protections or Windows' driver signing...

    MASTERKEY:

            Exploiting MASTERKEY requires an attacker to be able to re-flash the BIOS with a specially crafted BIOS update. This update would contain Secure Processor metadata that exploits one of the vulnerabilities, as well as malware code compiled for ARM Cortex A5 – the processor inside the AMD Secure Processor.

    RYZENFALL:

            Exploitation requires that an attacker be able to run a program with local-machine elevated administrator privileges. Accessing the Secure Processor is done through a vendor supplied driver that is digitally signed.

    FALLOUT:

            Exploitation requires that an attacker be able to run a program with local-machine elevated administrator privileges. Accessing the Secure Processor is done through a vendor supplied driver that is digitally signed.

    CHIMERA:

            Prerequisites for Exploitation: A program running with local-machine elevated administrator privileges. Access to the device is provided by a driver that is digitally signed by the vendor.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:41PM (#56253037)

      You're missing the point.

      The point is - they came up with really cool names for each exploit.

    • Wow this sounds like a no brainer, so if a thief already has the keys to your house then you might get some stuff stolen, or they might saw the lock off the door. It doesn't sound like a security problem to me at all. Someone with local machine administrator privileges pretty much already owns your machine.

    • OMG so if you gain root access to the system, you can do anything with the hardware that the drivers allow? Or if you replace the software that the thing is running with your own software, it does stuff that you tell it to?

      How is this an "exploit" exactly? Sounds like it's working as intended.

    • by kav2k ( 1545689 )

      Accessing the Secure Processor is done through a vendor supplied driver that is digitally signed.

      I think this implies that there is an existing AMD driver that allows the attack.

    • If the quoted AC is correct, then this item is not news.

      . . . Exploiting MASTERKEY requires an attacker to be able to re-flash the BIOS with a specially crafted BIOS update.

      . . . RYZENFALL Exploitation requires that an attacker be able to run a program with local-machine elevated administrator privileges.

      . . . FALLOUT Exploitation requires that an attacker be able to run a program with local-machine elevated administrator privileges.

      . . . CHIMERA: Prerequisites for Exploitation: A program running with local-machine elevated administrator privileges. Access to the device is provided by a driver that is digitally signed by the vendor.

      If physical access is required to exploit a 'security flaw', then it's not really much of an exploit; now, is it?

      ANY OF THESE CATCHILY NAMED VULNERABILITIES require you to be p0wn3d by the exploiter before they can begin, as well.

      If someone has physical control of your computer; you have far bigger problems than these pipsqueaks from 'whatever that hit-job company is named."

  • just a guess....

    if the bounty programs were reliable and lucrative enough, then security researchers could justify revealing vulnerabilities on the company's terms, i.e., quietly and when ready

    however, if a company's bounty programs were thought to be low-paying and unreliably given, then the new-found vulnerability could be used from a marketing perspective to give the researchers access to more business opportunities and money.... try to get publicity for it, it might pay off that way instead
  • by xxxLCxxx ( 5220173 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:57PM (#56253179)
    Looks like somebody has shortened AMD stocks. This should be under investigation soon.

    From reddit.com: [reddit.com]

    FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) - German financial watchdog Bafin said on Monday that short-seller Viceroy Research breached German securities law with a research report on ProSiebenSat.1 as it did not notify the regulator of its activities.

    Under German law, any entity that is not a securities firm, a fund manager, an EU administrative firm or an investment company that intends to publish recommendations on investments in assets must notify Bafin ahead of time, it said.

    It also said Viceroy’s website did not contain information on where the company was based.

    ProSieben last week rejected a critical report by Viceroy that led to a drop in its share price by as much as 9 percent, saying the allegations of questionable accounting contained in it were“unfounded and distorting reality”. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan Editing by Arno Schuetze)
  • Not a vulnerability (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @01:21PM (#56253339)
    This is both an attack on AMD (and possibly their stock price) and a way for the researchers to get publicity. This happens way to often, just this time it got more publicity than usual. What happens is researchers looking to make a name for themselves finds what they think could sound like exploit, the fact that it might already be public knowledge or hell even the way a device is supposed to work (e.g. exploit needs signed drivers and physical access) doesn't matter. Usually the "researchers" aren't very good. They use automated tools to scan for a vulnerability that they don't really understand and when you respond that "yeah, that 32 bit signed/unsign error might be exploitable if you send me a buffer with 2^31 + 7 bytes of data to a processes on an old 32 bit server but since the process only has 2GB of memory good luck.* The researches intentionally published right away so that the organization they are attacking doesn't have time to respond. The researchers didn't want a response because they knew the response would be "fuck off, this isn't a vulnerability!"

    *yes, I had this conversation.
    • FOR THE LAZY: (2^31 + 7) Bytes = 2 TB & change.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      This is both an attack on AMD (and possibly their stock price) and a way for the researchers to get publicity.

      I'll buy publicity, but an attack on AMD... no.

      Saying it's an attack on AMD is about as sensible as saying the (many) flaws published about Intel's products were attacks on Intel.

      If there's a flaw, it doesn't exist because of the researchers. If the researchers were truly malicious, they wouldn't have disclosed anything at all.

      Zero-day exploits give engineering departments heartburn and sleepless nights, but do little to the stock price over the long term. The only way this hurts AMD is if AMD says it isn't

  • Such a quick turnaround between private and public disclosure means one of two things.

    First possibility: They're not interested in responsible disclosure. Likely. As others have pointed out, they get more noise for their findings this way.

    Second possibility: They know these vulnerabilities are being actively exploited. Not as likely, but a real possibility, and way more worrying.

    • by hajile ( 2457040 )
      Have you read about the vulnerability requirements? You have to already control the machine before you can use these. If these are a problem, you already have a much bigger problem.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Third: This is a stock-scam and they need the short turnaround time, otherwise AMD could have stated (after analysis) that this actually has no substance.

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        If it's a stock scam, it's an amazingly ignorant one. The average day trader doesn't know about or really care about AMD. Even Intel is yesterday's news. They just don't have Apple's name recognition.

        If they were shorting AMD stock they would have only made 4.5% if they were prescient and both bought and sold their stock perfectly. If they weren't so lucky, they would have been seriously in the hole (down to -7%) and likely would have given up before 2PM EST.

        Coupled with the (expected) blocking of the Qual

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Look at their logo and the youtube video: Cheap background and cheap logo bought from the same site. The "vulnerabilities" are mostly irrelevant, if physical access is given, the attacker can do anything. Then the very short "disclosure" period that makes absolutely no sense, except as an ingredient in stock-fraud.

          So yes, "amazingly ignorant" is pretty much right on the mark.

  • Well, here's hoping that Apple's new low-cost entry-level MacBook uses one of their own A12 or whatever. Lower price and better security, maybe?

  • by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @02:00PM (#56253641)

    Look at how the information is delivered. "This site is to inform the public about the vulnerabilities and call upon AMD and the security community to fix the vulnerable products." - but doesn't actually give AMD the time to fix the problem(s).

    Look at the website: amdflaws.com
    Nice name.

    "MASTERKEY requires an attacker to be able to re-flash the BIOS with a specially crafted BIOS update"
    So this is a low impact problem. Yes they try to hype it but the fact is if anyone have access to a computer one should always assume they can gain control.
    For just a few years ago people wouldn't even try to portrait it as a problem.

    The rest are similar things - bypassing security while still needing physical and/or elevated privileges. Yes there may be problems caused by this, no the problems aren't really bad.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Intel spent some $$$ to encourage the group behind this to select the website name, the naming of the exploits (or "exploits" in some cases), how they are presented on the website and the white paper, and lastly to not giving AMD any chance to patch the problems. Add to this the quote above that show an exceptional level of dishonesty.

    And if Intel didn't give them anything the group missed out - Intel have dedicated resources for these kind of operations as anyone that have been into computers for a while should know.

    Disgusting.

  • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 ) <icebalm@[ ]balm.com ['ice' in gap]> on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @03:38PM (#56254453)

    https://amdflaws.com/disclaime... [amdflaws.com]

    "Although we have a good faith belief in our analysis and believe it to be objective and unbiased, you are advised that we may have, either directly or indirectly, an economic interest in the performance of the securities of the companies whose products are the subject of our reports."

    24 hours notice. "Researchers" who seem to spring up out of nowhere. Creating a website and videos for maximum publicity. All the security flaws seem overblown (require actual flashing of firmware or bypassing driver signing), and.. wait, what's this?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AMD_S... [reddit.com]

    A huge number of put option (a bet that share price will fall dramatically) volume 5 days ago?

    Nah, this is totally legit!

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      A huge number of put option (a bet that share price will fall dramatically) volume 5 days ago?

      To play devil's advocate: Put options like that are an everyday occurrence. They're not unusual in any way.

      There's even a solid reason for the bet: Much like Intel [slashdot.org], AMD missed the boat for mobile processors. Neither Intel nor AMD have processors in the iOS world, nor do they have a serious competitor to Qualcomm's SnapDragon or NVIDIA's Tegra on Android. Most of the arguments that the Broadcom+Qualcomm merger being an "existential threat" to Intel also applies to AMD, because they both missed the fastest-

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