AMD: Software techniques for managing speculation on AMD processors

Click to access Managing-Speculation-on-AMD-Processors.pdf


Speculative execution is a basic principle of all modern processor designs and is critical to support high performance hardware. Recently, researchers have discussed techniques to exploit the speculative behavior of x86 processors and other processors to leak information to unauthorized code * . This paper describes software options to manage speculative execution on AMD processors ** to mitigate the risk of information leakage. Some of these options require a microcode patch that exposes new features to software. The software exploits have recently developed a language around them to make them easier to reference so it is good to review them before we start discussing the architecture and mitigation techniques.


ARM (Linaro) on Meltdown and Spectre

Spoiler alert:

[…]This is the first part in a series of blog posts about Meltdown and Spectre. The intention here was to penetrate the whitepapers and give an easy to grasp overview of the attacks. In the upcoming blog post we will talk more about individual components, like OP-TEE, Linux kernel and other firmware.

a bit more on Spectre/Meltdown

Intel: Root Cause of Spectre/Meltdown Reboot Issues Identified

January 22, 2018 […]We have now identified the root cause for Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress in developing a solution to address it. Over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed. Based on this, we are updating our guidance for customers and partners: We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior. For the full list of platforms, see the Security Center site.[…]

meltdown-spectre-bios-list: machine-readable list of vendor patches

Meltdown/Spectre BIOS/Firmware Updates list

This is a list of all products an manufacturers which patched BIOS/Firmware addressing the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. If you have better info please send pull requests. Why I did this? to have a parseable list for all my hardware

curl -s | grep “$(cat /sys/devices/virtual/dmi/id/board_name)”

windows – powershell 3.0 or above
$model = (Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_ComputerSystem -ComputerName . | Select-Object -Property Model).Model
$mainboard = (Get-WmiObject Win32_BaseBoard | Select-Object Product).Product
$list = (Invoke-WebRequest
$list.Split(“`n”) | Select-String “$model |$mainboard “


Spectre/Meltdown 007 humor

a bit more on Spectre and Meltdown

News press release from Intel yesterday:


Yuriy working on new CHIPSEC Spectre test

Nice to see some recent CHIPSEC activity, given all the recent related CVEs…
…But this is not from the CHIPSEC team, it is from ex-CHIPSEC team member Yuriy of Eclypsium.

Added new module checking for Spectre variant 2
The module checks if system is affected by Speculative Execution Side Channel vulnerabilities. Specifically, the module verifies that the system supports hardware mitigations for Branch Target Injection a.k.a. Spectre Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715)

See source comments for more info.


a bit more on Spectre and Meltdown

more on Spectre/Meltdown

more on Spectre and Meltdown


more on Meltdown and Spectre

more on Meltdown and Spectre

We’re seeing browser and OS updates. The Microsoft Surface is the only firmware update I’ve seen so far…


Behind the scenes of a bug collision


more on Meltdown and Spectre

Intel advisory:
Intel tool for Linux:
Intel tool for Windows:

more on Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown and Spectre

Intel says issue impacts other chip vendors, not just Intel:
says: At the moment, it is unclear whether ARM and AMD processors are also affected by Meltdown.

A few news sources are saying Apple has a fix in place:

Official T-Shirts: coming soon…