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A bug on AMD's website let people hammer it 24/7 to purchase GPUs

ASUS TUF Gaming RX 6800
ASUS TUF Gaming RX 6800 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Updated April 27, 2021: Digital River shared a statement clarifying that it does not host the AMD store. The company states, "AMD's site is utilizing our global seller services for managing payments, taxes, fraud and compliance. We are the seller of record, which is why Digital River's name appears on the transaction but we do not host their store." The article has been updated accordingly.

What you need to know

  • A bug on AMD's allowed people to purchase GPUs before anyone else.
  • The bug let people instantly add GPUs to a card the moment they became in stock.
  • AMD has since patched the bug, so you can no longer use it to purchase a GPU.

A bug on AMD's website allowed scalpers, and anyone who could figure it out, to bypass anti-bot measures and to purchase a GPU. PCMag spoke with Reddit user "originofspices," who asked to not have his real name revealed, about the discovered bug. Originofspices suspects that scalpers knew about the bug for months and points out that you don't have to be that technical to exploit it.

"I'm sure other people had discovered this months before I did. It was so easy to find," said originofspices in a chat with PCMag. "100% actual scalpers had discovered this vector and were buying up lots of parts."

As anyone that's tried to purchase the best graphics cards knows, it can be a frustrating process to try to get one. Websites can slow down due to traffic, and stock often instantly sells out. Originofspices was able to get around anti-bot measures and awkward websites to instantly add a new GPU to his cart.

My vector created a permanent link that would allow you to attempt to add any product to cart," said originofspices. "The link could be hammered 24/7 without any restriction. The return would be a JSON packet that either showed failure or success."

Originofspices admits that he isn't a technical expert and that the site was easy to exploit, "The AMD web store that is run by Digital River was not well designed and was easily exploitable by unskilled users such as myself."

Since this news broke, Digital Rivers reached out to us with a statement clarifying that it does not host the store.

AMD's site is utilizing our global seller services for managing payments, taxes, fraud and compliance. We are the seller of record, which is why Digital River's name appears on the transaction but we do not host their store.

Using the bug, originofspices was able to purchase a Radeon RX 6900XT GPU, but you can't take advantage of the same bug to pick one up. He reported the bug to AMD, and it has since been fixed. For his efforts, AMD gave him a t-shirt.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • A T shirt??
    AMD should have given the dude alot more merch and a discount on his purchase for doing the right thing.
  • Or at least a T-shirt signed by Lisa Su.
    I don't think that would be too much concidering what he helped stop 🤔 No wonder people do not bother doing the right thing if that is the "Thank you" that they get.