Wednesday, January 3rd 2018

Intel Shares Down, AMD and NVIDIA Up Following VT Flaw Surface

Intel's stock pricing has taken a 6.19% dip at time of writing, in a regress that analysts say has everything to do with the reported VT flaw in Intel's central processing units. The flaw, which Intel has been silently firefighting and which we've covered extensively here on TPU, is a hardware-level vulnerability which has the potential to allow unauthorized memory access between two virtual machines (VMs) running on a physical machine, due to Intel's flawed implementation of its hardware-level virtualization instruction sets. Kernel patches are already being deployed that mitigate the issue; however, these should incur in performance losses for Intel processors, and are being deployed in an apparent "spray and pray" method that also affects performance in AMD-based machines, which are expected to be immune to the Intel flaw.
AMD's stock, however, has surged by 9.2% at time of writing, which is more upwards variance than the sometimes volatile stocks have been showing. The surge is being associated with AMD's image as offering a credible - and the only viable alternative, really - to Intel's dominance in datacenters, where AMD's recent EPYC line of processors has now seen bolstered levels of confidence. NVIDIA, another player in the data-center race, has also seen a 6.54% increase share pricing following the news. Reports that Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich sold $24 million in Intel stock back in November of 2017 don't help the case, but this doesn't really seem to have any connection with the bug's existence, since the move was a pre-planned sale of stocks (10b-51 plan), which is exactly intended to prevent insider trading. It seems that Intel is only looking to fix the flaw via software implementations, however, since the company hasn't created a financial reserve to deal with hardware write-downs and substitutions for affected customers, as it has done in the past.
Sources: Bloomberg, Tom's Hardware
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26 Comments on Intel Shares Down, AMD and NVIDIA Up Following VT Flaw Surface

#2
64K
I was expecting this today. Intel stock is going to take a hit for this. Meanwhile AMD is up about 10%.
Posted on Reply
#3
EarthDog
Just curious if this is coincidence and happens from time (didn't AMD see a 10% gain in mid dec??). I think I may have missed what NVIDIA has to do with this too... Struggling to make the connection here on the latter...
Posted on Reply
#4
Fluffmeister
"EarthDog said:
Just curious if this is coincidence and happens from time (didn't AMD see a 10% gain in mid dec??). I think I may have missed what NVIDIA has to do with this too... Struggling to make the connection here on the latter...
Nvidia are doomed, have been for years apparently. Gaming decline and all that:

https://www.techpowerup.com/230973/nvidia-stock-tumbles-amidst-analyst-talk-of-gamings-decline

The comments there are funny however you want to slice it.

Crazy world! Intel keep tripping up, AMD are back to relying on CPUs again, and nVidia are... you get the picture.
Posted on Reply
#5
Hugh Mungus
I expect a few programs to be rewritten to avoid the performance hit somewhat, but that will take time and likely will only be a DX12-scale affair.
Posted on Reply
#6
NTM2003
My next CPU will be amd probably next year hopefully there's some more newer ones out
Posted on Reply
#7
64K
"Fluffmeister said:
Nvidia are doomed, have been for years apparently. Gaming decline and all that:
I know you're being humorous but most companies would love to be as "doomed" as Nvidia




Posted on Reply
#8
erocker
*
I know it’s just the start of the year but damn! This is one story that has the internet squirming and I love it! The entertainment value of people vehmenently going out of their minds over things they don’t understand is pure gold.
Posted on Reply
#9
R-T-B
"EarthDog said:
Struggling to make the connection here on the latter...
Probably by "not being Intel." And by the fact that AMD procs require discrete graphics in most present AM4 cases.
Posted on Reply
#10
evernessince
"NicklasAPJ said:
Time to buy Intel stocks!
Why? They had to tap out their current architecture just to compete with AMD and it's not like they have anything amazing in any of their segments in the pipeline. You might see Intel make a small recovery with Ice Lake but even Intel has quelled expectations for it's CPU products in 2018. Intel has been cutting fat recently as well so they may stop issuing dividends soon too.
Posted on Reply
#11
Yukikaze
It would've been probably better to wait until the end of the trading day before writing this article, since it was not long until that point.

In any case, the EOD stock results:
INTC -> -3.39%
AMD -> +5.19%
Posted on Reply
#12
lynx29
"64K said:
I was expecting this today. Intel stock is going to take a hit for this. Meanwhile AMD is up about 10%.
I guess those Intel CEO's new what they were doing when they sold their stock off last week. Kappa.
Posted on Reply
#13
RejZoR
"erocker said:
I know it’s just the start of the year but damn! This is one story that has the internet squirming and I love it! The entertainment value of people vehmenently going out of their minds over things they don’t understand is pure gold.
We understand enough that Intel CPU's as whole are insecure, we're talking ENTIRE range of 7th and 8th generation. 6th and lower aren't affected iirc. And it's not just VM, it affects anything virtualized. Which can also mean sandboxes and virtualizations used by antiviruses. I wouldn't say that's comedy on any level, I'd say that's highly worrying.

And people need to keep an eye on Intel for dirty tactics they might pull with this one, like applying fix to AMD which doesn't need it, gimping own old generations that aren't affected, all just to shill their new generation when they fix it, because they'll be desperate to bring back in the lost revenue...
Posted on Reply
#14
R-T-B
"evernessince said:
Why? They had to tap out their current architecture just to compete with AMD and it's not like they have anything amazing in any of their segments in the pipeline. You might see Intel make a small recovery with Ice Lake but even Intel has quelled expectations for it's CPU products in 2018. Intel has been cutting fat recently as well so they may stop issuing dividends soon too.
Because the time to buy is when there is blood in the streets.

"RejZoR said:
6th and lower aren't affected iirc.
Dude, Rej, it affects back to the Core Series inception. Anything with VT-d basically.

"RejZoR said:
nd it's not just VM, it affects anything virtualized. Which can also mean sandboxes and virtualizations used by antiviruses. I wouldn't say that's comedy on any level, I'd say that's highly worrying.
Pagefiles, too.
Posted on Reply
#15
Vya Domus
however, since the company hasn't created a financial reserve to deal with hardware write-downs and substitutions for affected customers, as it has done in the past.
No surprise when your products are being sold at a massive premium.
Posted on Reply
#16
RejZoR
@R-T-B
Wasn't it said that some older gens aren't affected? Or was that for something else? Or they found out all of them are affected?
Posted on Reply
#17
64K
"R-T-B said:
Because the time to buy is when there is blood in the streets.
That strategy has worked out pretty well for Warren Buffett. He's worth around 84 billion dollars right now.
Posted on Reply
#18
neatfeatguy
"RejZoR said:
@R-T-B
Wasn't it said that some older gens aren't affected? Or was that for something else? Or they found out all of them are affected?
There was some firmware bug that made news back in November about only 6th, 7th and 8th gen Intel CPUs having issues, along with a few other Intel CPU models.

As for the kernel bug.....
I haven't found any concrete info saying specifics. This article from PCWorld says it could be all CPUs from the past 10 years on the kernel bug.
Posted on Reply
#19
R-T-B
My understanding is anything with VT-d.
Posted on Reply
#20
nem..
<div class="youtube-embed" data-id="kIQByfvsDa0"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kIQByfvsDa0/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIQByfvsDa0" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
Posted on Reply
#21
R-T-B
"nem.. said:
<div class="youtube-embed" data-id="kIQByfvsDa0"><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kIQByfvsDa0/hqdefault.jpg" /><div class="youtube-play"></div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIQByfvsDa0" target="_blank" class="youtube-title"></a></div>
Not really on-topic. The bug doesn't affect AMD and if it did, it would not surprise me if it transparently decrypted it for the hackers, too. That is more for local machine taps.
Posted on Reply
#22
nem..
"R-T-B said:
Not really on-topic. The bug doesn't affect AMD and if it did, it would not surprise me if it transparently decrypted it for the hackers, too. That is more for local machine taps.
eh nope
[MEDIA=twitter]948683677244018689[/MEDIA]

Posted on Reply
#23
birdie
All the pertinent details:

https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2018/01/reading-privileged-memory-with-side.html

https://spectreattack.com/

@Raevenlord @btarunr

An interesting comment from Linus Torvalds if you know who he is:

code:
From Linus Torvalds <>
Date Wed, 3 Jan 2018 15:51:35 -0800
Subject Re: Avoid speculative indirect calls in kernel


On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 3:09 PM, Andi Kleen <andi@firstfloor.org> wrote:
> This is a fix for Variant 2 in
> https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2018/01/reading-privileged-memory-with-side.html
>
> Any speculative indirect calls in the kernel can be tricked
> to execute any kernel code, which may allow side channel
> attacks that can leak arbitrary kernel data.

Why is this all done without any configuration options?

A *competent* CPU engineer would fix this by making sure speculation
doesn't happen across protection domains. Maybe even a L1 I$ that is
keyed by CPL.

I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look
at their CPU's, and actually admit that they have issues instead of
writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed.

.. and that really means that all these mitigation patches should be
written with "not all CPU's are crap" in mind.

Or is Intel basically saying "we are committed to selling you shit
forever and ever, and never fixing anything"?

Because if that's the case, maybe we should start looking towards the
ARM64 people more.

Please talk to management. Because I really see exactly two possibibilities:

- Intel never intends to fix anything

OR

- these workarounds should have a way to disable them.

Which of the two is it?

Linus
Posted on Reply
#24
R-T-B
"birdie said:
Please talk to management. Because I really see exactly two possibibilities: - Intel never intends to fix anything OR - these workarounds should have a way to disable them.
I hate to be the fanboy here, but I really feel like that OR could end up being an AND/OR. As in Intel never intends to fix anything AND these workarounds should still have a way to disable them.

Personally, I hope someone OUTSIDE of Intel's PR department is doing exactly this right now:
somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPU's, and actually admit that they have issues
Posted on Reply
#25
ShurikN
If what W1zz said, regarding Epyc moving almost no units, is true, maybe this will be a boost Amd needed in the data center market. It's a shame a great price/performance product is being overlooked just because it's not Intel.
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