AMD releases 'just-in-case' firmware updates for its processors

Security patches for Meltdown and Spectre are slowing older systems down

Security patches for Meltdown and Spectre are slowing older systems down

Analysis of these techniques revealed that while they are extremely difficult to exploit, even by an app running locally on a Mac or iOS device, they can be potentially exploited in JavaScript running in a web browser.

Google says their new security patches for the processor vulnerabilities have no negative effects to performance. AMD shares have gained nearly 20 per cent in the last week as investors speculated that the chipmaker could wrest market share from Intel, whose chips were most exposed to the security flaws. "We are passionate about continuing to work with our partners in the industry to provide the best possible experience for our customers". If the deficiencies are left unaddressed, they pose a risk of compromise to data stored across devices around the world.

CEO Brian Krzanich has promised more transparency from Intel in a seperate post, saying it would publicly disclose significant vulnerabilities and add funding for "academic and independent research into potential security threats", as well as consistent progress reports for all issued and forthcoming patches.

Variants to the flaw exist where malware could potentially gain access to the memory of other applications (in the case of Spectre) or where malware could gain access to a device's memory (in the case of Meltdown). It also insisted that it has yet to receive any information that the Spectre/Meltdown flaw has been used to obtain customer data, but it's probably for the best to install the fix when you get it anyway.

Following the Wall Street Journal report, Intel issued a statement by Nevin Shenoy, general manager of its datacentre group, confirming that Intel had received reports from "a few customers" of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates. For the latest details, please see Microsoft's website. We expect this issue to be corrected shortly and Microsoft should resume updates for these older processors by next week. AMD's CPUs use privilege level protections within paging architecture and as a result, the company believes no further action on this is required. "This is why you want to be careful to evaluate the risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance, and balance the security versus performance tradeoff for your environment", he wrote.

"Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and datacentre", he said.

AMD has confirmed that its processors are exposed to both variants of the Spectre security flaw, but reiterated that its CPUs are immune to the Meltdown flaw that largely affects only Intel microprocessors.

This will be done first by making optional microcode updates for Ryzen and EPYC processors starting this week.

Noticias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.