Intel: Don't Deploy Our Faulty Spectre Patches

Intel: Don't Deploy Our Faulty Spectre Patches

Intel: Don't Deploy Our Faulty Spectre Patches

Some users have experienced "higher system reboots" after applying updates to Intel processor firmware to address possible Meltdown and Spectre attack scenarios, Intel explained back on January 11. Initial patches for the vulnerabilities have already begun rolling out, but have been hit by various problems, including a frequent reboot issue. Over the weekend it released an early version the fix for Broadwell and Haswell chips to OEMs, which it plans to release once testing is complete. Specifically, it is causing unexpected reboot issues. Regular computer users don't have a lot to worry about, but operations managers at cloud companies and data centers have done little else in 2018 but worry about these security issues and the performance impact of the patches created to mitigate those issues. There was no indication of when Intel will release an updated fix, although the industry is very concerned about the ability of attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities.

"We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors, and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior", Intel's Data Center Group EVP and General Manager, Navin Shenoy, wrote in a blog post. "The security of our products is critical for Intel, our customers and partners, and for me, personally". However, it appears to be problematic for those on Broadwell or Haswell.

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A new version of the Meltdown/Spectre patches has been developed and is now in testing, Intel said.

And when Intel's patches started causing their own issues, such as systems rebooting out of nowhere at a much more frequent clip than usual, the problem grew even more complex. No word on a fix for other processors for now, but the founder will hopefully share more details soon.

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