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SimpleSvm: hypervisor for AMD Windows systems

SimpleSvm is a minimalistic educational hypervisor for Windows on AMD processors. It aims to provide small and explanational code to use Secure Virtual Machine (SVM), the AMD version of Intel VT-x, with Nested Page Tables (NPT) from a windows driver. SimpleSvm is inspired by SimpleVisor, an Intel x64/EM64T VT-x specific hypervisor for Windows, written by Alex Ionescu.

https://github.com/tandasat/SimpleSvm

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AGESA update info from AMD

[…]Beginning this month, as we promised to you, we began beta testing a new AGESA (v1.0.0.6) that is largely focused on aiding the stability of overclocked DRAM (>DDR4-2667). We are now at the point where that testing can begin transitioning into release candidate and/or production BIOSes for you to download. Depending on the QA/testing practices of your motherboard vendor, full BIOSes based on this code could be available for your motherboard starting in mid to late June. Some customers may already be in luck, however, as there are motherboards—like my Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5 and ASUS Crosshair VI—that already have public betas.
[…]
If you’re the kind of user that just needs (or loves!) virtualization every day, then AGESA 1.0.0.6-based firmware will be a blessing for you thanks to fresh support for PCI Express Access Control Services (ACS). ACS primarily enables support for manual assignment of PCIe graphics cards within logical containers called “IOMMU groups.” The hardware resources of an IOMMU group can then be dedicated to a virtual machine. This capability is especially useful for users that want 3D-accelerated graphics inside a virtual machine. With ACS support, it is possible to split a 2-GPU system such that a host Linux® OS and a Windows VM both have a dedicated graphics cards. The virtual machine can access all the capabilities of the dedicated GPU, and run games inside the virtual machine at near-native performance.[…]

https://community.amd.com/community/gaming/blog/2017/05/25/community-update-4-lets-talk-dram

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-agesa-firmware-update-motherboard,34525.html

 

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microparse

“Microparse: Microcode update parser for AMD, Intel, and VIA processors written in Python 3.x.”

Security Analysis of x86 Processor Microcode
Daming D. Chen, Gail-Joon Ahn
December 11, 2014

Modern computer processors contain an embedded firmware known as microcode that controls decode and execution of x86 instructions. Despite being proprietary and relatively obscure, this microcode can be updated using binaries released by hardware manufacturers to correct processor logic faws (errata). In this paper, we show that a malicious microcode update can potentially implement a new malicious instructions or alter the functionality of existing instructions, including processor-accelerated virtualization or cryptographic primitives. Not only is this attack vector capable of subverting all software-enforced security policies and access controls, but it also leaves behind no postmortem forensic evidence due to the volatile nature of write-only patch memory embedded within the processor. Although supervisor privileges (ring zero) are required to update processor microcode, this attack cannot be easily mitigated due to the implementation of microcode update functionality within processor silicon. Additionally, we reveal the microarchitecture and mechanism of microcode updates, present a security analysis of this attack vector, and provide some mitigation suggestions. A tool for parsing microcode updates has been made open source, in conjunction with a listing of our dataset.

https://github.com/ddcc/microparse

 

https://www.dcddcc.com/docs/2014_paper_microcode.pdf

 

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AMD seeks Firmware Security Engineer

MTS Software Development Engineer – Firmware – Security
The Software Security Engineering group is responsible for enabling Platform Security and Content Protection features. The team develops components across the entire software stack including device drivers, firmware, and application level interfaces, enabling customers to build novel solutions while supporting industry standards. […] Design and implement embedded firmware supporting Platform Security features across a wide range of AMD product lines.[…]

https://jobs.amd.com/job/Markham-MTS-Software-Development-Engineer-Firmware-Security-ON/391389700/

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OEMs/IBVs aren’t enabling ECC config in boot menus

It looks like most vendors don’t have their boot menus updated to support the new ECC memory they now support…

[…]Once you have an ECC-enabled memory controller, a motherboard with the right traces, and a few sticks of ECC memory, the next step is whether the BIOS/UEFI properly supports ECC. This is where things start getting a little bit iffy. AMD placed all the responsibility for ECC support on the motherboard manufacturers, and they aren’t really willing to step up to the plate and assume that responsibility…you will find out why in the conclusion. As a result, while most motherboard manufacturers have now come to acknowledge that their motherboards are indeed ECC enabled, that is the extent of their involvement. Not one is offering an enable/disable option in the UEFI, and we haven’t seen anyone but ASRock and ASUS have any ECC settings available at the moment.

This lack of settings severely hampers the overall ECC functionality, since a big part of it is that the motherboard should be able to log errors. Right now, no such logging capability exists. Thankfully, there is a possible software solution. The operating system – if it fully supports this new AM4 platform – should have the ability to log errors and corrections. If it does not, the hardware might be silently correcting single-bit errors and even detecting ‘catastrophic’ two-bit errors, but you will never know about it since there will be no log. That’s what we are going to look into next.

To conclude this page, we strongly suspect that just about every AM4 motherboard likely has ECC enabled, or at the very least will in the future. Most motherboard manufacturers certainly aren’t actively supporting it, or even unlocking any of the features that accompany it, but they don’t appear to be maliciously disabling it either. At this point in time, they simply have other way more important things on their plate, like improving memory support, overclocking, ensuring that IOMMU is functional, etc. Furthermore, we strongly suspect that they are presently unable to unlock all of the necessary settings without a newer CPU microcode from AMD.

 

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/75030-ecc-memory-amds-ryzen-deep-dive-2.html

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