The consumer backlash over the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities has been strong, with Intel seeing the bulk of the wrath in the form of more than 30 class action suits. AMD is also coming under the legal microscope as well, now facing four class-action suits of its own.
AMD has escaped much of the venom from users because its CPUs were immune to the Meltdown variant, but as with Intel and ARM, its chips are vulnerable to the side-channel design exploits of Spectre. Three of the suits, as reported by The Register, go directly to AMD "misleading" customers about the quality of the chips. In Nathan Barnes and Jonathon Caskey vs. AMD:
"Despite its knowledge of the Spectre Defect, AMD continued to sell its processors to unknowing customers at prices much higher than what customers would have paid had they known about the Spectre Defect and its threat to critical security features as well as on the processing speeds of the devices they purchased."
"Defendant has been unable or unwilling to repair the security vulnerabilities in the subject CPUs or offer Plaintiff and class members a non-defective CPU or reimbursement for the cost of such CPU and the consequential damages arising from the purchase and use of such CPUs.
"The software updates or 'patches' pushed by AMD onto CPU owners does not appear to provide protection from all the variants of Spectre. At the very least, firmware updates or changes will be required. Even then, these 'patches' dramatically degrade CPU performance."
The fourth lawsuit, Doyun Kim vs. AMD, seeks a remedy for investors who bought stock between February 21, 2017, and January 11 of this year who may have been misled by AMD about the severity of the vulnerability.
"AMD and the Individual Defendants, individually and in concert, directly or indirectly, disseminated or approved the false statements… which they knew or deliberately disregarded were misleading in that they contained misrepresentations and failed to disclose material facts,"
AMD had warned investors in an SEC filing late last month that the company was "subject to claims related to the recently disclosed side-channel exploits, such as Spectre and Meltdown, and may face claims or litigation for future vulnerabilities."
The chipmaker started rolling out firmware fixes for its CPUs within days after the vulnerabilities were revealed.