AMD, Linux patches available to solve a dangerous security problem

AMD, Linux patches available to solve a dangerous security problem


A couple of days ago we reported the news concerning the discovery of a dangerous vulnerability identified on processors based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture caused by the technology called Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF), initially designed to improve performance by predicting the relationships between loading and storage of data. Unfortunately, in a similar way to what happened in the past with Specter, which involved several generations of different processor architectures, any erroneous speculations could allow malicious individuals to gain possession of sensitive information through targeted attacks.

AMD has released a whitepaper in recent days in which it explained more precisely all the details concerning the problem, promising that it would distribute new patches for the Linux kernel in order to mitigate the potential security risk of the Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) function. . Apparently, the company has kept its promise, as Phoronix colleagues have identified five patches that allow users to disable that feature if desired.

Stylized render of AMD Ryzen RPO Mobile Processor inside a laptops Recall that software that uses "sandboxing" are more susceptible to exploit, which is why AMD has offered users the ability to disable Predictive Store Forwarding. As noted by Phoronix, Predictive Store Forwarding is enabled by default on the patched Linux kernel as well. It can be deactivated in two ways: through the Specter v4 mitigation control or by inserting the “nopsfd” parameter between the start ones. Fortunately, it appears that deactivating PSF does not lead to substantial decreases in performance, as verified by the tests conducted by Phoronix.

Are you looking for a good motherboard to pair with the new Ryzen processors? ASUS ROG Strix X570-F with 14 power phases might be a good choice. You can find it on Amazon at a discounted price.

AMD inexplicably threw scalpers a bone with limited-edition Radeon RX 6800 XT ‘Midnight Black’ GPU

Because the world desperately needed another GPU people can’t actually buy, AMD decided to release a limited-edition “Midnight Black” version of its Radeon RX 6800 XT early Wednesday morning, where it sold out before most people even saw the card was there.

You might be thinking: “Why would you release a limited-edition version of something that’s practically a collector’s piece even without a new coat of paint?” (AMD’s recent GPUs are even rarer than Nvidia’s, though both currently command two to three times their retail price on eBay.)

Or you might be thinking: “When, exactly, did AMD announce a new GPU? I don’t remember that.” That’s because the company didn’t formally announce it: according to VideoCardz, AMD quietly told its “AMD Red Team community” fanbase by email at around midnight that they should watch for the card at 6AM PT, an announcement that did not stay under wraps, to put it mildly.

Personally, I’m just wondering: If AMD actually wanted to put video cards in the hands of its fans, why not verify their emails, or email out unique, non-transferrable passwords, or raffle them off, or do basically anything other than put them on the same website where bots, scalpers, and everyone else already knows to look — a website that some people have their browser set to refresh all day long?

There does seem to have been a special “Red Team link,” but a bunch of would-be buyers reported it didn’t work — while a few others claimed they were able to buy one on the main store page by hammering the refresh button or by using a Javascript shortcut to trick the website.

There are potential solutions to these issues, but the gaming industry does not seem to be terribly interested in finding them. Still, gotta give credit to AMD for selling it at the original retail price of $649 instead of charging more.

It’s not clear how many Midnight Black cards were produced; at press time, two buyers were trying to hawk their confirmed orders on eBay, while a third had pulled their listing due to an unspecified error.

AMD tells The Verge it’s “continuing to focus on delivering the latest Radeon graphics cards to as many gamers as possible at SEP,” and counts the brief appearance of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Midnight Black as part of that.

“We continue to make reference cards available on and will continue to replenish supply for the foreseeable future,” the company says, something it had not managed to do the last time I wrote about a similar claim. Since then, however, AMD has (very briefly) delivered supplies of GPUs at least three times that I’m aware of.