AMD is deploying a patch for the second Spectre CPU vulnerability
While Intel is at the center of the Spectre/Meltdown fiasco, AMD’s chips are also affected by the CPU vulnerabilities. The company previously said that its chips are only susceptible to the first Spectre variant, but in its latest announcement, it admitted that both Spectre variations are “applicable to AMD processors.” AMD already provided PC manufacturers its fix for the first Spectre version, and Microsoft has begun rolling it out. The chipmaker also said it’s working with Redmond to address a problem that delayed the distribution of patches for its older processors.
Since the second version of Spectre needs a different fix, AMD will also provide its customers and partners for Ryzen and EPYC processors with a patch for its chips starting this week. Firmware updates for its older chips will follow in the coming weeks. If you use Linux, you might get it sooner than you think, since Linux vendors have already started releasing OS patches for the second variant. You might have to wait a bit if you’re a Windows user, though, since AMD is still working out distribution timing with Microsoft.
While its statement regarding its products’ vulnerability both Spectre variants has changed, the company said its chips’ architecture will make it very difficult for attackers to exploit version 2. It also maintained that Meltdown isn’t applicable to AMD chips at all. AMD’s processors aren’t “susceptible” to Meltdown, the chipmaker wrote, “due to [the company’s] use of privilege level protections within paging architecture. Since “no mitigation is required” for variant 3, it won’t be creating a patch for the vulnerability.