Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patch is wreaking havoc on older CPUs

13 Enero, 2018, 05:08 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Intel warns that its Meltdown and Spectre patches might introduce reliability issues on PCs and servers

"If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels", Intel advised. However, Intel still recommends end-users should apply the updates for both OS and hardware.

In other words, the patches for Meltdown and Spectre may need patches themselves, though Intel has not come to that definitive conclusion just yet.

In the meantime, Microsoft this week said it has "temporarily paused" patches for Windows customers running AMD processors after some users reported seeing the "blue screen of death" after the update was applied.

The hardware vendor said these systems are both home computers and data center servers.

In the fallout of the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown, companies have been racing to patch vulnerabilities.

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"Thanks to extensive performance tuning work, these protections caused no perceptible impact in our cloud and required no customer downtime in part due to Google Cloud Platform's Live Migration technology", the post said. And thanks to the efforts of hundreds of engineers, no one has apparently noticed because the fixes haven't slowed down or degraded popular services like Google search, Google Drive, and Gmail.

Let's hope similar actions across the tech community can mitigate any further inevitably unearthed timebombs before they affect the end user. If you have systems that have processors designed in the past five years, then Intel is going to issue a fix if it hasn't already. WSJ got its hands on a document Intel has been sending out, which recommends that customers "delay additional deployments of these microcode updates" while it figures out the reboot issue. They will lend an important level of security.

While researchers who identified Spectre and Meltdown had warned that software patches could cause device performance hits of up to 30 percent, companies rolling out fixes are finding the impacts can vary widely.

Google recently detailed its response to the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws. But for those computers that really are performing compute-intensive tasks, you will want to make sure all of other critical security measures are in place taken, including operating system patches.

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