AMD Processors: Google Project Zero, Spectre and Meltdown
Information Security is a Priority at AMD
There has been recent press coverage regarding a potential security issue related to modern microprocessors and speculative execution. Information security is a priority at AMD, and our security architects follow the technology ecosystem closely for new threats.
It is important to understand how the speculative execution vulnerability described in the research relates to AMD products, but please keep in mind the following:
- The research described was performed in a controlled, dedicated lab environment by a highly knowledgeable team with detailed, non-public information about the processors targeted.
- The described threat has not been seen in the public domain.
When AMD learned that researchers had discovered a new CPU attack targeting the speculative execution functionality used by multiple chip companies’ products, we immediately engaged across the ecosystem to address the teams’ findings.
The research team identified three variants within the speculative execution research. The below grid details the specific variants detailed in the research and the AMD response details.
Variant / AMD Response Matrix
|Google Project Zero (GPZ) Research Title||Details|
|Variant One||Bounds Check Bypass||Resolved by software / OS updates to be made available by system vendors and manufacturers. Negligible performance impact expected.|
|Variant Two||Branch Target Injection||Differences in AMD architecture mean there is a near zero risk of exploitation of this variant. Vulnerability to Variant 2 has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date.|
|Variant Three||Rogue Data Cache Load||Zero AMD vulnerability due to AMD architecture differences.|
As the security landscape continues to evolve, a collaborative effort of information sharing in the industry represents the strongest defense.
Total protection from all possible attacks remains an elusive goal and this latest example shows how effective industry collaboration can be.
As always, AMD strongly encourages its customers to consistently undertake safe computing practices, examples of which include: not clicking on unrecognized hyperlinks, following strong password protocols, using secure networks, and accepting regular software updates.