Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
AMD Has Graphics IP Stolen
Quote:AMD has released a statement regarding a theft of its graphics IP and what may have been a subsequent attempt to blackmail the company. The statement reads:
Quote:At AMD, data security and the protection of our intellectual property are a priority. In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down.

While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products. We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP.

We are working closely with law enforcement officials and other experts as a part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
That’s all the detail we have right now, but these kinds of efforts rarely end well for the parties involved. AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and other semiconductor companies have often cooperated to prosecute individuals who have tried this kind of stunt before. While it might seem ideal for one company to attempt to get a leg up on another by directly copying its product design, this kind of trick is fraught with legal peril for the company that tries it.
We’ve reached out to various sources within AMD and several have quietly confirmed that the company is framing the situation accurately. The IP in question wasn’t core to either the competitiveness or the security of future AMD products.
Quote:Update 3/26/20 5:30am PT: The hacker has now posted a second Github repository with "proof" of the hack, again soliciting bidders for AMD's proprietary IP. We contacted the hacker, who confirmed the system was hacked remotely. However, the individual refused to provide further details.
Quote:At first glance, the news looks bad. The data in question is supposedly for Big Navi and Arden, the codename for the Xbox Series X GPU. Given how important both of these products are to AMD’s future, theft of their underlying core technology would be quite damaging.

WCCFTech has published a story — corroborated by certain sources ExtremeTech has spoken to — arguing that this IP theft is, while serious by its very nature, didn’t actually get the thief all that much. What was reportedly stolen were some Verilog files with information on how to implement a specific GPU function. If you don’t know what Verilog is, it’s a Hardware Description Language (HDL). You could say that a GPU or CPU is “written” in Verilog, and that’s where all the statements about AMD having had a “source code” theft are coming from. It’s not even clear the Verilog files could be useful to a third party; they’re reportedly built on a proprietary schematic that’s only compatible with AMD’s internal design language in the first place.

The important takeaway is this: There’s no way to build a product based on what was stolen and the data cannot be used to reverse engineer product performance. It might be possible to derive some high-level specification data from the full file list, but since most or all of this information is public, there’s not a lot of reason to do so. There are no known security implications from the theft at this time, though there is a slim chance that there might be an exploitable bug in the functions that were stolen. This is more-or-less a given: While we haven’t talked about security audits lately, auditing software (and Verilog is software) is an intensely time-consuming process.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)