AMD has just revealed that it spotted a new vulnerability in its Ryzen Master software. The bug sounds pretty dangerous — it could potentially allow an attacker to take full control of your PC.
Here’s everything we know about the vulnerability and the steps you need to take to secure your computer.
AMD Ryzen Master is a useful piece of software if you’re using an AMD processor. It lets you monitor your CPU in real time as well as alter the clock speeds and the voltage. While it’s definitely handy, if it falls into the wrong hands, you could be in trouble — and it seems that the tool has been hit with a pretty severe vulnerability.
The vulnerability was spotted by Conor McNamara and later disclosed by AMD itself. Its severity was ranked high, and AMD described the potential impact as “privilege escalation.”
“Failure to validate privileges during installation of AMD Ryzen Master may allow an attacker with low privileges to modify files potentially leading to privilege escalation and code execution by the lower privileged user,” said AMD.
According to what AMD said, this means that users with low privilege levels could use Ryzen Master to gain control of the system. It’s unclear if this would be possible without administrator access, though, and it does sound like the user would need to be able to access the computer in person in order to carry out an attack.
This is one of those vulnerabilities that are unlikely to affect a whole lot of users, but once someone is affected, the impact could be severe. Another example of this type of vulnerability in the last year is Hertzbleed, which is thought to affect most of the best processors on the market.
Even if you feel like you’re not at risk, it’s best to update Ryzen Master to the latest version of the software (18.104.22.1687). You’ll be protected from the vulnerability and also get a few new features, such as the ability to set a maximum temperature for your CPU. You can also set the voltage of the processor above 5.2V, but you shouldn’t do this unless you’re an expert at overclocking your CPU.
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