AMD Warns That Ryzen 5000 Series Processors Could Be Vulnerable to Spectre-Like Side-Channel Attacks Due to Zen 3 Performance Feature

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AMD Ryzen 5000 Series users who are focused on security may want to disable their processor’s new Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) feature. As red team explains in a recently published paper, this feature, which was introduced as part of the company’s new Zen 3 core architecture, may open up the CPUs to the same kind of Spectre-like side-channel attacks that have plagued many of Intel’s Core processors. This is because PSF leverages speculative execution—the same performance-enhancing technique that attackers have exploited to enable infamous attacks such as Spectre, Meltdown, Spectre-NG, and ZombieLoad.

While some of the previous attacks sometimes impacted AMD and Arm CPUs, most of the time, the attacks affected Intel’s processor since the company had pioneered using speculative execution for performance gains long ahead of its rivals. However, AMD said it was aware of this past research and recognized that there might be instances where the PSF feature could expose its customers to variations of attacks […]. […] if AMD customers want to be on the safe side, they can disable PSF entirely. The chipmaker has provided instructions on how PSF can be disabled on its Zen 3 architecture in its advisory [PDF].

Source: AMD, The Record

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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