AMD Rolls Out Security Updates for Spectre Variant 2, Threat Now 'Difficult to Exploit'

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 4:44 PM

AMD is rolling out a patch today to mitigate the security vulnerabilities of the Spectre 2 (Google Project Zero Variant 2) CPU flaw for Windows users. If you’ve got an AMD system then you’ll need to download both Windows updates and microcode updates from AMD's OEM and motherboard partners in order to best protect your system.

The first variant of Spectre, GPZ Variant 1, was mitigated through the initial round of operating system updates earlier in the year, while GPZ Variant 3 (Meltdown) only affects users with Intel processors.

“While we believe it is difficult to exploit Variant 2 on AMD processors, we actively worked with our customers and partners to deploy the above described combination of operating system patches and microcode updates for AMD processors to further mitigate the risk,” writes AMD CTO Mark Papermaster.

AMD hasn’t listed out every AMD processor that needs to be protected, but these updates will apply to each and every CPU released since the Bulldozer core products were launched in 2011. That is to say, and FX-4000 Series chip and upwards.

You can grab the new protection by downloading the appropriate BIOS updates from your motherboard provider, while you’ll also need Windows 10 (version 1709). Once you’ve got these sorted, you’re going to be as protected as you humanly can be from Spectre, aside from pulling the cord.

“We will provide further updates as appropriate on this site as AMD and the industry continue our collaborative work to develop solutions to protect users from security threats,” says Papermaster. Ultimately, AMD CPUs are still going to be vulnerable to this second variant of Spectre, but actually exploiting this flaw is going to be extremely difficult.

Looking forward, Zen 2 chips and onwards will all be completely Spectre and Meltdown-proof from a hardware and software level, so we can finally leave this whole sorry saga behind.

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19:28 Apr-11-2018

I have a question.
What if I had a meltdown/spectre proof hardware to begin with, will those OS/bios updates slow down the performance?

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19:34 Apr-11-2018

Well if Apple was slowing down the iPhones on purpose
then everything is possible do you think?!

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06:34 Apr-12-2018

0 logic... but ok....

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07:09 Apr-12-2018

What does Apple have to do with these issues whatsoever?

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06:54 Apr-12-2018

People should stop worrying about spectre and meltdown and so on, unless they own a big multi-million company or just have millions on their computer that somehow someone found out about...


Nobody in their right mind will spend time and resources hacking random plebs...

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08:30 Apr-23-2018

True.

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07:03 Apr-12-2018

You can't have issue proof hardware because that'd mean your CPU is effectively one of a kind.
Those updates can negatively affect your performance but you don't have to update if you don't want to. Neither of us here is most probably not to be targeted by these attacks, unless you're a head of a big corporation.

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19:12 Apr-11-2018

Windows one just downloaded for me however my mobo doesnt have any bios updates lately.

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18:38 Apr-11-2018

Well nothing happens by accident.
If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

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06:57 Apr-12-2018

That's some extreme conspiratorial thinking. Arguing that accidents don't exist is just false.
Why would both of CPU manufacturers introduce crippling hardware malfunctions to their products which can and have affected them only in a negative way?

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