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 Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

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 News
  1. Linux Benchmarks Of Intel's Atom Z3735F On The Compute Stick
  2. Fedora's Security Team Continues Closing Old Vulnerabilities
  3. HAMMER2 File-System Now Uses LZ4 Compression By Default
  4. HiSense Chromebook Benchmarks When Running Ubuntu Linux
  5. Mandriva Linux Was Allegedly Brought Down By Employee Lawsuits
  6. GNOME 3.17.2 Is Released As The Latest Look Towards GNOME 3.18
  7. Phoronix Turns 11 Years Old Next Week: How Should We Celebrate?
  8. Ubuntu Community Council Reaffirms Its Decision Against Kubuntu's Leader
  9. Future Plans For Changing Fedora's Installer
  10. Confusion Mounts Over Wayland's Actual License
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Radeon OpenGL Benchmarks On Fedora 22
  2. Btrfs RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Five-Disk Benchmarks On Linux 4.1
  3. Opening The Gates To Our Daily Open-Source Linux Benchmark Results
  4. The Latest Features For Linux Performance Management + Benchmark Monitoring
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. NVIDIA's Proprietary Driver Is Moving Closer With Kernel Mode-Setting
  2. Features Added To Mesa 10.6 For Open-Source GPU Drivers
  3. Friction Building Around An Ubuntu Community Council Decision
  4. Ubuntu's LXD vs. KVM For The Linux Cloud
  5. The Latest Linux Kernel Git Code Fixes The EXT4 RAID0 Corruption Problem
  6. Russia's Baikal Chips End Up Going For A MIPS CPU
  7. The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC
  8. Linux 4.1-rc5 Kernel Released