Researchers Find Serious Vulnerabilities in AMD Processors

CTS Labs, an Israel-based hardware security company, released on Tuesday a whitepaper and website describing flaws they discovered in two lines of computer chips produced by the company AMD. CTS Labs hasn’t released the actual exploits and only describes the flaws in the EPYC and Ryzen processor lines in terms of high-level approach and capabilities. As is the current tradition, these flaws have all been given fancy names (RYZENFALL, MASTERKEY, FALLOUT and CHIMERA) with matching logos. The vulnerabilities are interesting and will be of great concern for a select few customers—but for most Lawfare readers, the correct response to three of the four vulnerabilities is, essentially, a shrug. The exception is CHIMERA, which poses a potentially serious national security concern. In order to use any of the four vulnerabilities, an attacker must already have almost complete control over the machine. For most purposes, if the attacker already has this access, we would…

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