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AMD Graphics Microsoft Security Windows

AMD/ATI Video Drivers: Unsafe At Any Speed 261 261

An anonymous reader writes "CERT/CC has called out AMD for having insecure video drivers. AMD/ATI video drivers are incompatible with system-wide ASLR. 'Always On' DEP combined with 'Always On' ASLR are effective exploit mitigations. However, most people don't know about 'Always On' ASLR since Microsoft had to hide it from EMET with an 'EnableUnsafeSettings' registry key — because AMD/ATI video drivers will cause a BSOD on boot if 'Always On' ASLR is enabled."
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AMD/ATI Video Drivers: Unsafe At Any Speed

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  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @12:57PM (#40246247)

    This isn't very surprising AMD/ATI have always had crappy drivers. I wish their fan base would stop apologising for them and demand AMD put more effort into their products.

  • AOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @12:57PM (#40246251) Homepage

    Acronym Overload Detected. A summary is supposed to summarize but I couldn't tell what this story is about unless I already know.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:01PM (#40246317)

    You think their windows drivers suck?
    Check out the linux ones one time. A whole other world of suck!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:15PM (#40246487)

    This isn't very surprising AMD/ATI have always had crappy drivers. I wish their fan base would stop apologising for them and demand AMD put more effort into their products.

    This can't possibly be true. I've been troll moderated to death and beset by ATI fanboys at every turn, for years now, on slashdot in the past, all assuring me ATI not only has awesome drivers on EVERY platform, including Linux, but that NVIDIA is unusable and the choice of the foolish. These trolls can't possibly be wrong, can they? I mean the video quirks and game bugs, rendering problems, and kernel crashes commonly associated with various ATI video cards can't possibly be real can they?

    Seriously, if you are a Linux user who just wants good 3d with quality drivers and don't care about some dumb ideology, NVIDIA is literally the only option in town. Even on Windows their drivers are and always have been top notch. And when ATI was literally laughing and pointing at Linux users, NVIDIA was there to provide quality drivers which ATI has yet to even match in quality. And that's all ignoring the fact ATI has a long tradition of EOL'ing driver support for cards which really are not that old - scratch two laptops.

    Seriously, I don't know why anyone would bother with ATI on Linux. And even on Windows, its still not a "gimme" decision.

  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:22PM (#40246569)

    What has Nvidia got to do with it? Why do you mention the failings of another company to cover for AMD?

  • Re:AOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:23PM (#40246583)

    Notice that the first reference to ASLR in the summary is actually a link to Wikipedia.

    And the reference to EMET is a link to a microsoft page that has at the top this warning:

    This article applies to a different operating system than the one you are using. Article content that may not be relevant to you is disabled.

    I'm reading this on a linux system, but I manage several windows boxes. It's very useful for microsoft to refuse to diplay content it decides I don't need to see. Thank you.

  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:23PM (#40246589)

    I never mentioned Nvidia, it's also completely irrelevant as AMD drivers will suck regardless of what Nvidia does.

  • Re:AOD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:33PM (#40246759)

    Unfortunately expanding-out the acronyms doesn't make the summary any clearer:

    "CERT/CC has called out AMD for having insecure video drivers. AMD/ATI video drivers are incompatible with system-wide Address space layout randomization (ASLR).

    'Always On' Data Execution Prevention (DEP) combined with 'Always On' ASLR are effective exploit mitigations. However, most people don't know about 'Always On' ASLR since Microsoft had to hide it from the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit with an 'EnableUnsafeSettings' registry key â" because AMD/ATI video drivers will cause a Blue Screen Of Death on boot if 'Always On' ASLR is enabled."

    What?

    Actually that helps. I didn't recognize the ASLR and DEP acronyms since there wasn't enough context to know what they were talking about, I didn't immediately recognize the term "Address Space Layout Randomization", but when I saw "Data Execution Prevention" it became much more clear what they were talking about.

    But a little explanation would have been nice. Something like "DEP and ASLR are security mechanisms used to make it more difficult for malware to execute code or to predict memory addresses where programs and their data are located"

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <[moc.lliwtsalsremag] [ta] [nogarD]> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:33PM (#40246763) Homepage Journal

    NVIDIA hardware is actually stable at 100C though.

  • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:37PM (#40246831)
    Linux sucks, it just happens that everything else is even worse. :D
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:44PM (#40246933) Homepage

    Nope, just ATI drivers.

    Nvidia drivers on Linux seem to even be better than the ATI ones for Windows.

  • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:49PM (#40247021)

    this is actually the most honest assessment of operating systems i've seen in a long time.

    to be fair, the phrase "in their own way" should be tacked on to the end, because windows, linux, and osx do not suck in the same ways.

  • ASLR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:51PM (#40247059) Homepage Journal

    Preventing yesterday's attacks, tomorrow.

  • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:54PM (#40247095)

    crying about fanboys while running around fanboying. typical.

    all fanboys suck. end of story. mint vs ubuntu, google vs apple, nintendo vs sega, fuckin coke vs pepsi... if you're on one side of an arguement, and you can't see the cons of your own side as well as the pros of the other side, you don't really understand the arguement and you shouldn't be speaking.

  • by PingXao (153057) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @02:47PM (#40247783)

    Microsoft is constantly telling people that they won't sign their drivers unless they pass strict quality and certification standards. MS should just deny that to drivers as buggy as these are reported to be.

    Oh wait... that would mean MS Is actually committed to quality as opposed to just needing an excuse to deny the little guy who wants to write some driver-level code.

  • Re:ASLR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by osu-neko (2604) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:22PM (#40248953)
    Given that "yesterday's attacks" compromise 99% of the attacks that occur every day, that seems wise.
  • 1) Don't start your post in the subject line, that is fucking annoying. Are you new?
    2) What do you mean "the" article content? He doesn't know which content it showed him, and neither do you. But I notice you're anonymous and cowardly, so you're probably a shill as well.

  • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:03PM (#40249597)

    depends on your definition of failure.

    if gnu/linux was aiming to become the predominant desktop OS, displacing microsoft, then it certainly has failed

    if gnu/linux was aiming to beocme a major player in the arena, maybe not the overall leader but boasting enough of a market percentage that it couldn't be successfully ignored or neglected by software devlopers and hardware OEMs, then yeah... it's probably failing at that too.

    if gnu/linux was aiming to become a viable alternative to the market leaders for people who care about free software and people who care about being in full control of their own OS, well it has become a rousing success at that.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert.slashdot@firenzee@com> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @05:17PM (#40249833) Homepage

    Windows succeeded in a very different market to what Linux now competes in...

    Dos came bundled, and windows was pushed as the natural progression from dos. It had very few competitors, most of which were considerably more expensive both for the software and the hardware required to run it on.

    Linux on the other hand came much later, and is faced with a market already dominated by an incumbent player who has no interest in promoting linux as the natural progression away from their existing product.

    If both windows and linux were introduced new to the market today, i think the story would be very different... Alternative OSs to the incumbents have a very rough time of it, commercial ones outright fail due to not being able to build marketshare fast enough to fund development (look at beos etc), desktop linux would have been considered a commercial failure and dropped years ago if it was a commercial product, only due to being open source and thus not dependent on revenue has it been able to build a user base slowly and steadily.

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