AMD Rejects Intel's SPOILER, Says Its CPUs Aren't Affected By Hardware Security Exploit
The revelation that practically every processor made in the past couple of decades is affected by at least one variant of Meltdown and Spectre, the names given to multiple versions of the same general execution vulnerability, shook the tech industry pretty hard. It also led to further discoveries of similar bugs. The most of recent example is called SPOILER, and AMD has a message for anyone who is in the market for a CPU.
"We are aware of the report of a new security exploit called SPOILER which can gain access to partial address information during load operations. We believe that our products are not susceptible to this issue because of our unique processor architecture," AMD says.
That is not exactly new information. When researchers divulged details about SPOILER last week, they very clearly tied it to Intel chips, saying that AMD and ARM processors appear unaffected.
"The root cause for Spoiler is a weakness in the address speculation of Intel’s proprietary implementation of the memory subsystem which directly leaks timing behavior due to physical address conflicts," the researchers wrote.
AMD still thought it was wise to get out in front of this thing. Either that, or it saw an opportunity to slyly highlight a perceived advantage of its own silicon, versus anything that Intel offers. Interestingly, though, AMD does not come right out and say its processors are definitely not susceptible to SPOILER, only that it "believe[s]" this to be the case at the moment.
The company's belief is rooted in how AMD processors handle memory operations. AMD explains that the SPOILER exploit is capable of gaining access to partial address information above address bit 11 during load operations.
"We believe that our products are not susceptible to this issue because AMD processors do not use partial address matches above address bit 11 when resolving load conflicts," AMD explains.
AMD's statement is the tech equivalent of comedian Daniel Tosh saying, "Na-na na-na boo boo, stick your head in doo doo," a phrase he utters during a Tosh.0 segment in which he demonstrates him doing a stunt better than his viewers.