AMD is rolling out a patch today to mitigate the security vulnerabilities of the Spectre 2 (Google Project Zero Variant 2) CPU flaw for Windows users. If you’ve got an AMD system then you’ll need to download both Windows updates and microcode updates from AMD's OEM and motherboard partners in order to best protect your system.
The first variant of Spectre, GPZ Variant 1, was mitigated through the initial round of operating system updates earlier in the year, while GPZ Variant 3 (Meltdown) only affects users with Intel processors.
“While we believe it is difficult to exploit Variant 2 on AMD processors, we actively worked with our customers and partners to deploy the above described combination of operating system patches and microcode updates for AMD processors to further mitigate the risk,” writes AMD CTO Mark Papermaster.
AMD hasn’t listed out every AMD processor that needs to be protected, but these updates will apply to each and every CPU released since the Bulldozer core products were launched in 2011. That is to say, and FX-4000 Series chip and upwards.
You can grab the new protection by downloading the appropriate BIOS updates from your motherboard provider, while you’ll also need Windows 10 (version 1709). Once you’ve got these sorted, you’re going to be as protected as you humanly can be from Spectre, aside from pulling the cord.
“We will provide further updates as appropriate on this site as AMD and the industry continue our collaborative work to develop solutions to protect users from security threats,” says Papermaster. Ultimately, AMD CPUs are still going to be vulnerable to this second variant of Spectre, but actually exploiting this flaw is going to be extremely difficult.
Looking forward, Zen 2 chips and onwards will all be completely Spectre and Meltdown-proof from a hardware and software level, so we can finally leave this whole sorry saga behind.