AMD Security Vulnerability – The Day After - Seems Financially Motivated

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. David3k

    David3k Active Member

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    See, that's the thing: this level of compromised hardware can always be theoretically be possible, given there extreme level of system access privilege.
    Frankly, I'd be more surprised if a person given complete and total access to a system in this way couldn't insert a way to hook into the system. And any claims of permanence of the firmware-based attacks should always be taken with mountains of salt, because as much as they can tamper the system, they can't lock out original microcode updates. The only real permanent issue with these pieces of hardware is something that fixed-function hardware allows for. (IE, non-flashable execution bits)
     
  2. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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  3. vonSternberg

    vonSternberg Member Guru

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    Could AMD pursue legal measures against everyone involved? That's a pretty big scam that encompasses investment companies up to mainstream media outlets. Pretty damn shady
     
  4. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

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    The issue is two fold.

    1) First there is manner in which the discovery of vulnerabilities has been brought to public. And indeed this seems to be suspicious and done in a way to maximize the damage to AMD.

    2) And then there is the issue of the vulnerabilities themselves. Saying that its a non-issue because the attacker needs root access is ridiculous.
    For two reasons:

    First because it's always funny when non-experts give sweeping statements about the highly technical and industry wide issues like this.
    And 2nd, you don't have to be infected directly. One possible problem is if attacker gains root access to firmware distribution platform, and is able to escalate privileges beyond the intended scope, distributing infested firmware while remaining totally hidden.

    [​IMG]

    Lets not conflate the 1) and 2):
    Just because the discovery and the publication of vulnerabilities have possibly been brought maliciously against AMD, does not mean that the vulnerabilities do not exist.
     
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  5. anthos

    anthos Active Member

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    No offence Hilbert but you are really grasping at straws there.
     
  6. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, the video was strangely amateurish, almost comical. It would have been better if they had just used a small office cubicle or wall, but I guess they wanted to give the impression that they were a big research firm? LOL. It also seemed to be designed for PR and fearmongering rather than the technology (I'm surprised they didn't use scary music or include explosions or car wrecks in the video - limited budget perhaps?)

    I think it's very clear that it was financially motivated. Releasing the info without giving proper notice, creating articles/videos that instill fear, along with the association with hedge funds and the disclaimer indicating that they take an economic position in the companies involved (along with Viceroy Research, which also openly admits to taking a position on the stock). Simply put, it was a get-rich-quick scheme, where they would profit from the drop in the stock price and then disappear. I can just imagine how they must be feeling now, as AMD stock has gone the opposite way (I guess they'll be living off cat food for a while longer :D).
     
  7. RzrTrek

    RzrTrek Ancient Guru

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    Let's hope AMD doesn't try to downplay the seriousness of said vulnerabilities.
     
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  8. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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    Honestly, from a "firm" with this much negativity, and bad press I don't think there is anything to worry about. More or less it seems like they're trying to scare investors that might not know too much about computers by using big words, and slides they don't understand to look real.

    For me personally, here is the number one reason I cannot believe CTS or take them seriously with their claims, when this is in their disclaimer.
    Meaning the information we posted might be fake or proven wrong, but we can publish it anyway. Credible for sure.
     
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  9. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    But you know, that line are misspelled, that's the most uncredible about it. The line itself and what it says is rather standard.
    Change of something without further notice and maybe not update it at all is actually pretty common in the net. Makes you less easily sueable.
     
  10. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Hopefully. I'm sure everyone agrees that we don't need bogus claims clogging up issues and making everyone disbelieve any claims that happen in the future because of it.

    If they come out and say there are no vulnerabilities (the ones that are being said are there), will you believe them? Or will you decide AMD are lying now? I ask because you seem to imply, or at least, not acknowledge in that statement that there could possibly be absolutely no vulnerabilities (that are listed here). So how would they not "downplay" something, if it doesn't exist?
     

  11. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I both agree and disagree. While these exploits shouldn't be ignored, they shouldn't be anything to worry about either. As far as I'm aware, nobody is told specifically how to abuse these exploits; we just know the gist of how they work. That's not going to help a hacker get anywhere. AMD's marketshare is still a little too small for serious hackers to spend their time (and therefore money) figuring out how to exploit this, when they could be doing something much more productive on a system they already have admin access in. I don't think most companies advertise what hardware they're using, so if a hacker is trying to breach a company's mainframe with the intent of exploiting these security flaws, they're off to a bad start.
    Think of it like this:
    If you're trying to rob a bank at night and you're already given the combination to the lock, is it really worth the effort to smash the cameras and blow up the servers if you entered without detection anyway? Sure, it might help you in the long run, but you've already got what you needed and if you're quick about it, nobody is going to stop you anyway.

    I thought yesterday they explicitly stated were taking them seriously?
     
  12. nz3777

    nz3777 Ancient Guru

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    Possibly (Intel) playing little dirty tricks to down Amd- Its a dirty dirty world just like in car sales hehe.
     
  13. Mateja

    Mateja Member Guru

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    (tldr? AMD has actually responded to this)

    yep pretty sure it's insider trading BS and/or just a malicious attack on AMD.

    this article showed up yesterday on my e-trade news feed for AMD:

    "AMD Stock Falls After Report Of Ryzen, Epyc Vulnerabilities"

    and today AMD responded with their own news item which also showed up in the stock's news feed:

    "Advanced Micro comments on CTS Labs reports of security vulnerabilities; they 'are actively investing and analyzing its findings'

    Firm notes that "We have just received a report from a company called CTS Labs claiming there are potential security vulnerabilities related to certain of our processors. We are actively investigating and analyzing its findings. This company was previously unknown to AMD and we find it unusual for a security firm to publish its research to the press without providing a reasonable amount of time for the company to investigate and address its findings. At AMD, security is a top priority and we are continually working to ensure the safety of our users as potential new risks arise. We will update this blog as news develops."

    admittedly, AFTER reading that post here yesterday, I went ahead and bought more stock in AMD anyway. it immediately smelled fishy and I agree with another comment here that people are fatigued from flaws in chipsets and don't care anymore and probably conflate this news with meltdown and spectre. plus, it is super cheap for such a well established semiconductor company :) I am glad AMD is on the defense here, while at the same time addressing this issue instead of pretending like it doesn't exist or trying to minimize it like intel did for an even worse vulnerability. and, if they do find it was 'fake news' or blown out of proportion for sketchy insider business, I hope they litigate this to the fullest extent of the law.

    and to those paranoid about all these 'vulnerabilities' ... I view this kinda the same way I view the actual "news." ... just because we are more intelligent and expose and understand more and more vulnerabilities, doesn't mean we're any less safe. it will probably not affect you or anyone you know. just like disease poverty gun violence crime etc. in reality the world is wealthier and safer than ever and human rights is flourishing (on average per capita). there is some truth, but also probably some kind of insider spin deceiving us into being afraid to affect markets and make certain people rich. yet back here in reality, most of us, are probably safer than ever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  14. waltc3

    waltc3 Maha Guru

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    If you have admin access to the system, you own *everything* in it already...;) Looking at it that way, with direct access to a system--the whole OS is a "vulnerability." It's nonsense.
     
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  15. waltc3

    waltc3 Maha Guru

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    Good sleuthing, HH. It's absolutely fake and a put-up-job. AMD must be pounding Intel *hard* for them to resort to something as desperate and as stupid as this as this...;)
     

  16. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Though it is highly suggestive Intel is at least partially involved in this, there's no way they're dumb enough to leave a paper trail for anyone to prove it. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done, and if Intel is in fact involved, they will get away with this (or worst-case scenario, they'd be seen as guilty in-court and any damages they'd have to pay they'd be held off for a decade like they've done in the past).
    At least I suspect everyone is going to forget about this in a couple weeks, except a handful of Intel fanboys who will grip onto this moment for the rest of their lives.
     
  17. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    I think that's largely understood. The biggest concern would be the possibility of malware being installed onto the secure part of the processor, making it persistent even after a format/wipe. As you said, you're already pwned if a hacker has admin access - it just means you're even more pwned, requiring a hardware replacement along with the loss of data and other damage. Of course the risks are minimal overall - if you follow good security guidelines then there should be no risk - but AMD will need to address it in the future.
     
  18. circeseye

    circeseye Master Guru

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    ok people that say yea it still needs to be fixed and so on.......really? these so called exploits can be done to intel cpus also. why? because they require admin and even physical access to do. i dont care how you look at it if someone has access like that to your comp/server intel or amd YOUR COMP IS DONE. seriously the person just needs to replace the bios with a modified one???? this bs they spewed is all crap and scare mongering. and looking like just to cause stock prices to change.
     
  19. Robbo9999

    Robbo9999 Maha Guru

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    Yesterday I thought there could be some legitimacy in these supposed AMD flaws, but after reading your article and listening to some forum users & their posts I too think these security vulnerabilities will turn out to be false. I wonder how long it will take AMD to debunk it & come out saying it's BS.
     
  20. Jagman

    Jagman Ancient Guru

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    Must admit I feel much happier now after reading a lot of these posts.......And.....Relax :)
     

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