AMD Hit With Lawsuit Over Deafening Silence On Spectre And Meltdown CPU Exploits


AMD is facing a class action lawsuit related to recently disclosed chip vulnerabilities that have companies scrambling to release security patches. Those patches can potentially hamper performance, though the ire of the lawsuit against AMD is that it initially kept quiet about its chips being susceptible to both variants of Spectre, thereby "artificially inflating" the company's stock price in the wake of Meltdown and Spectre.

"Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) a fundamental security flaw in AMD’s processor chips renders them susceptible to hacking; and (ii) as a result, AMD’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times," the lawsuit (PDF) states.

The lawsuit lays out a timeline of what it considers to be damning events, starting with the disclosure by Google's Project Zero team on January 3 of major processor vulnerabilities, including Spectre. On the same day, an AMD spokesperson told investors there that its chips were vulnerable to one of the Spectre variants, and there was "near zero risk" that its chips were vulnerable to the other variant.

Just over a week later on January 11, AMD issued a press release acknowledging that its chips were susceptible to both Spectre variants.

"On this news, AMD’s share price fell $0.12 or 0.99%, to close at $12.02 on January 12, 2018.As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s common shares, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages," the lawsuit says.

This is not the first lawsuit to arise from Meltdown and Spectre. Intel is also facing class action litigation with multiple lawsuits filed against the company, each of which calls out the performance reduction associated with patches to protect against the newly disclosed vulnerabilities.

As for AMD, the lawsuit lists AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su and CFO Devinder Kumar as defendants. AMD put out a statement calling the claims "baseless," and that it intends to "vigorously defend" against them.

Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr via Gene Wang