Published in PC Hardware

AMD admits it is vulnerable to both versions of Spectre

by on12 January 2018

So much for saying that the second one was low risk

After days of saying that there was a "near zero" chance of its chips being hit by the two Spectre bugs, AMD has finally admitted it's vulnerable to both of them.

In a subsequent statement Thursday, AMD said there was “no change” to its position on the susceptibility of its chips to Spectre, but shares fell as much as four percent after the first AMD announcement.

For those who came in late, security researchers disclosed a set of flaws that could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel.

But investors believed AMD’s chips were at less risk, and the outfit's shares surged. AMD’s shares have gained nearly 20 percent since the flaws were made public on Jan. 3 as investors speculated that it could wrest market share from Intel, which is most exposed to the flaws because it is vulnerable to all three variants.

AMD shares dropped as much as four percent to $11.65 in after-hours trading after the company’s announcement Thursday. By late afternoon they had recovered to $11.80, a drop of 2.9 percent.

AMD said that its chips were vulnerable to one variant of the Spectre bug, but there was “near zero risks” from the second Spectre variant and vulnerability to the second variant “has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date”.

AMD said the second Spectre variant “applies to AMD” processors and that it would issue patches for its Ryzen and EPYC processors starting this week and older chips in the coming weeks.

"While we believe that AMD's processor architectures make it difficult to exploit Variant 2, we continue to work closely with the industry on this threat", Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Last modified on 12 January 2018
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