Microsoft and AMD release updates to protect against second Spectre variant

Posted 11 April 2018 14:29 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Microsoft and AMD have started rolling out updates that should protect AMD CPU powered systems against the Spectre attack. The attack makes it possible to steal data from the memory of the computer through Javascript, by exploiting the branch prediction feature of the CPU. Attackers could obtain personal data or passwords this way.

An update that protects against the Spectre version 1 attack was already available. To protect computers against Spectre version 2, both an update for the operating system as a microcode update for the CPU is required.

Microsoft has now released Spectre updates for AMD systems running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The updates will be automatically downloaded and installed on relevant systems. AMD has released microcode updates for processors from 2011 (Bulldozer) and later. Users should be able to find the respective updates on the website of their main board manufacturer.

Initially the Windows patches for AMD computers caused issues for users with specific hardware, after which Microsoft decided to temporarily put the distribution of the updates on hold.

AMD powered systems don’t need to install updates for the Meltdown attack because AMD processors are not vulnerable to that attack.

Related content

Comments on this story

We don't show comment's on news stories, instead you are very welcome to join the discussion on this topic on our forum.

Discuss this story here