Meltdown and Spectre Patches; How it will affect your machine, Intel warns

Meltdown and Spectre Patches; How it will affect your machine, Intel warns

Papermaster said AMD will release "optional microcode updates" to mitigate the Spectre vulnerabilities on systems running Ryzen and EPYC processors beginning this week.

In a statement from Intel, the company's executive VP and general manager of the Data Center Group Navin Shenoy noted that there have been reports from certain customers of higher system reboots after the installation of firmware updates. For one of the variants of Spectre, which Google says proved to be a lot more problematic, its engineers came up with a technique called "Reptoline", which modifies programs to ensure that execution can not be influenced by an attacker.

Both Linux and Microsoft have started deploying operating system updates for this issue, albeit some Windows users reported BSOD errors earlier in the week, which led Microsoft to pause the rollout of the Spectre #1 patch for the time being. That it was able to find solutions for them relatively quickly demonstrates just how powerful the company is.

There are two vulnerabilities attributed to Spectre, and while Nvidia has pushed out patches to plug one of the security holes, it's still working on updates to block off the second.

However, in the meantime, Intel is warning customers to hold off on installing the patches, according to e-mail acquired by The Wall Street Journal. However, Intel still recommends end-users should apply the updates for both OS and hardware. "We are also working directly with data center customers to discuss the issue".

Meltdown, for those unaware, is the term coined to describe a flaw in modern Intel CPUs, which leaves a computer's kernel memory - the encrypted part of a system used to store sensitive information, like passwords - susceptible to hackers.

Starting off, Krzanich says that "90% of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years" will have mitigation patches in place for the security flaws by January 15.

Related news: