1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A Backdoor In AMD's Catalyst OpenCL Library?

AMD

Published on 13 January 2014 09:58 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
58 Comments

There's a chance there might be a concealed backdoor within AMD's Catalyst driver, in particular within their closed-source graphics driver's OpenCL library.

Developers behind oclHashcat, an open-source password recovery / cracking utility that uses OpenCL and CUDA for being "the world's fastest password cracker", pointed out in a tweet this morning that there's a rather stomach-turning symbol within the AMD Linux OpenCL library.

Spotted was a osTestBackdoorATI string within the libamdocl64.so AMD OpenCL 64-bit library on Linux. The "osTestBackdoorATI" can be easily revealed by running strings on the compiled library, but it's not yet known what exactly AMD is doing with this "test backdoor."

This was pointed out in our forums and as of publishing I have yet to hear back from AMD with any explanation over this "test backdoor" in their binary Linux driver.

UPDATE: According to AMD's Graham Sellers on Twitter, the hook is used for obtaining memory usage statistics during testing.

UPDATE 2: AMD's official statement on this symbol.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  3. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  4. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Open-Source Radeon 2D Performance Is Better With Ubuntu 14.10
  2. RunAbove: A POWER8 Compute Cloud With Offerings Up To 176 Threads
  3. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks
  4. Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks
Latest Linux News
  1. Dead Island GOTY Now Available On Linux/SteamOS
  2. Ubuntu 14.04 In The Power8 Cloud From RunAbove
  3. KDE With Theoretical Client-Side Decorations, Windows 10 Influence
  4. Sandusky Lee: Great Cabinets For Storing All Your Computer Gear
  5. Fedora 21 Beta & Final Release Slip Further
  6. Mesa 10.3.2 Has A Couple Bug-Fixes
  7. RadeonSI/R600g HyperZ Support Gets Turned Back On
  8. openSUSE Factory & Tumbleweed Are Merging
  9. More Fedora Delays: Fedora 21 Beta Slips
  10. Mono Brings C# To The Unreal Engine 4
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  4. Use Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Make it an official distro.
  5. Debian Is Back To Discussing Init Systems, Freedom of Choice
  6. AMD Radeon VDPAU Video Performance With Gallium3D
  7. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  8. Linux hacker compares Solaris kernel code: