Intel warns patches for chip flaws are buggy

Intel warns patches for chip flaws are buggy

Intel has identified three issues in updates released over the past week for "microcode", or firmware, the newspaper reported, citing a confidential document the company had shared with some customers that it had reviewed.

Intel is now looking into reports that some of its customers are experiencing reboots in systems that update to the latest firmware for Meltdown/Spectre mitigation.

Vendors are rolling out fixes for Meltdown and Spectre, but the process has not been entirely smooth with Microsoft accidentally bricking some AMD-based systems.

The problems affect PC and datacenter systems running the company's Broadwell and Haswell processors. But for now, the fix is only optional.

Even better news is that Google has open-sourced Reptoline so that other companies can take advantage of it in their own Spectre fixes. He concludes the update by remarking that AMD will continue to work with the rest of the technology industry to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre. The company previously said that its chips are only susceptible to the first Spectre variant, but in its latest announcement, it admitted that both Spectre variations are "applicable to AMD processors". In the wrong hands, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs can be used to steal data from any protected application on a machine, including password managers and browsers. "We expect this issue to be corrected shortly and Microsoft should resume updates for these older processors by next week", AMD confirmed the rollout plans.

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Despite the rollout issues, the tech industry is still urging customers to patch their systems. Cloud providers, which lease servers to multiple clients, are particularly at risk.

Given the difficulty of solving it, Google's Project Zero security team made a rare exception to its 90-day disclosure policy, which gives vendors and companies 90 days to solve the problem before it releases details of a vulnerability to the public.

Microsoft believe that Windows versions before 10 are hit significantly greater by exploit patches due to their higher dependence on user-kernel transitions, which has since changed with newer OS designs.

According to Intel, computers equipped with 8th generation (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) chips and sold-state-drives (SSDs) will see the least slowdown from the Spectrum/Meltdown update at less than 6%.

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