AMD’s Epyc server encryption is the latest security system to fall


It’s a good thing AMD had the sense not to rub Intel’s nose in the Meltdown/Spectre vulnerability, because it would be getting it right back for this one: Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Safety in Germany have published a paper detailing how to compromise a virtual machine encrypted by AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV).

The news is a bit of a downer for AMD, since it just added Cisco to its list of customers for the Epyc processor. Cisco announced today plans to use Epyc in its density-optimized Cisco UCS C4200 Series Rack Server Chassis and the Cisco UCS C125 M5 Rack Server Node.

The UCS C125 M5 Rack Server Node supports up to two Epyc processors, up to 2TB of memory, two PCIe 3.0 slots, and an optional fourth-generation Cisco UCS VIC for complete programmability. Cisco says that this gives 128% more cores, 50 more servers, and 20 more storage per rack than previous Cisco products. Its target market is anyone needing high-density compute, such as analytics and cloud platforms.

What is SEV?

SEV comes with the new Epyc server processors from AMD. For some years now, AMD has been non-competitive on the server, with its Opteron server line lagging way behind the Intel Xeon and holding virtually no market share.

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