An exploit found on AMD’s online store has allowed users to bypass the site’s security measures and potentially buy up a lion’s share of graphics cards, a boon for GPU scalpers who would have otherwise been thwarted by the online store’s security.
Reported by PCMag, Reddit user ‘originofspices’ explained how they discovered the loophole in a post on the AMD subreddit. They wrote: “At the end of three weeks of testing and coding, I had found a direct add to cart method that not only bypassed any anti-bot measures, but also exposed stock levels for the desired product.
“It was possible to run a script that used this vector from 10:20 AM to 11 AM on Thursdays without any pushback from any anti-bot measures. The moment the item was in stock, it could be added to [the] cart.”
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The Reddit user explained to PCMag that they were sure scalpers had discovered the exploit long before they did, and were using it to buy up PC parts likely for the purpose of reselling at a substantial markup.
Amidst the rampant PC part shortages that show no sign of coming to an end, occurrences like this show that manufacturers could be doing a lot more to prevent scalpers from buying up all available stock. The fact that AMD’s backdoor was so exploitable, while clearly unintentional, is a sign that security efforts are falling short.
Resellers aren’t the only ones making it hard to purchase powerful new GPUs, though. Amid the current cryptocurrency boom, many consumers are buying GPUs for the purpose of cryptomining. In response, some manufacturers like Gigabyte and Asus have attempted to make their own dedicated cryptomining cards.
However, these can be even more expensive than regular GPUs, as is the case with the Asus CMP 30HX, which still makes popular GPUs like the GeForce RTX 3080 the preferred option.
Thankfully, AMD took notice of the Reddit user’s efforts to shine a light on the exploit, and it has since been fixed. Hopefully AMD’s online store will now function as intended, allowing general consumers to more easily get their hands on the powerful GPUs they’ve likely been after for months. We’ve contacted AMD for a comment.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.