Vulnerabilities have given microprocessor manufacturers a hard time on several occasions. Meltdown and Specter, without going any further, put in check in 2018 to intel, although other companies, such as amd or ARM, were also deeply affected.
The impact these two vulnerabilities had on the entire industry generated mistrust on many users. And that suspicion went deep. In fact, I am convinced that many of the people who are reading this article remember the commotion that was organized. That’s right.
This is where we come from. Since then the waters have calmed, but the vulnerabilities have continued to appear. And in the future they will continue to do so because both hardware and software are sensitive to design errors that can compromise security.
This is the context in which Intel has just published a fairly detailed report in which it describes how its products have fared in terms of security during 2021. It is obvious that this document seeks to make its efforts in this area visible and leave this company as good as possible, but it contains something very interesting: it expressly compares Intel and AMD numbers. And they are very revealing.
Intel vs. AMD: this is how both have done in 2021, according to Intel
Before continuing, it is important that we keep in mind that the figures contained in this report have been compiled by Intel itself, which, obviously, is an interested party. Still, they’re very illuminating because they come from both external and internal sources (at least when it comes to Intel numbers).
The dark blue color shows the vulnerabilities that have been identified by Intel itself, and the light blue color shows those that have been found. by external researchers which, a priori, do not necessarily have anything to do with Intel. On the other hand, the reddish color counts the vulnerabilities that affect AMD chips. All of them, according to this report, have been identified by researchers outside the latter company.
As we can see in the graph, in 2021 Intel itself detected 10 vulnerabilities in its CPUs, in addition to the 6 that were located by external security experts. AMD’s figure, interestingly, is much higher. practically collects twice as many vulnerabilities.
Intel claims that 23 of the vulnerabilities found in its graphics solutions are actually attributable to AMD components
According to Intel, all of them come from sources outside of AMD and have been collected during the portion of the year that extends between May and December, which insinuates, in some way, that during the first months of 2021 more vulnerabilities could have been identified than have not been accounted for in this report.
If we now stick to its graphical logic, we can see that Intel has identified 15 vulnerabilities in its GPUs, to which are added the 36 that external security experts have found. AMD’s figure in this area is significantly more moderate (27 vulnerabilities), which invites us to deliver the victory to this last company in this field.
However, this seems to be a hasty conclusion. And it is that Intel ensures in this report that 23 of the vulnerabilities found in its graphics solutions actually must be attributed to AMD components. And it is that some Intel processors, such as the 8th generation Core for laptops, incorporate AMD Radeon RX graphics.
Of course, we have spoken with AMD to ask those responsible if they have something to contribute to the data handled by Intel. Or even if they want to refute something. If this last company finally makes a statement, we will update this article to also include AMD’s vision. From here, we users have the tools we need to draw our own conclusions.