Intel warns against using Spectre patch due to higher reboots

Posted January 23, 2018

Intel has requested users stop installing its own Spectre/Malware patch after confirming the fix was causing people's computers to shut down.

More than six months after Google informed Intel that almost all the computers on the planet released in the last 20 years have security holes thanks to a chip design flaw, Intel seems no closer to completely addressing the Meltdown and Spectre issues than it did when it first went public with the news in early January.

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This unfortunate development came to light Monday, when Intel issued an official statement telling a groups of its customers to just slow their roll when it comes to updating their critically vulnerable systems. However, it appears to be problematic for those on Broadwell or Haswell.

Intel has asked computer makers to stop rolling out a set of faulty patches it issued to fix security flaws in its chips and instead start testing an updated version.

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This message is specifically for OEM's, cloud service providers, system manufacturers software vendors and end users. To check whether your system may have a problem, check the full list of processors at the Intel Product Security center. Intel says it has "made good progress in developing a solution", so, assuming its forthcoming patch isn't also busted in some as-of-yet undetermined way, this mess may soon be in the rearview mirror. Recent statements from Intel and Microsoft confirm that some patches may cause a reduction in system performance, as patching the vulnerabilities means fiddling with processes that are created to speed up CPU performance.

"I apologize for any disruption this change in guidance may cause", notes Intel Executive Vice President Navin Shenoy.

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In short, while computing device vendors and other Intel partners work with Intel to fix these issues at the top level and hopefully avoid these faulty patches, the firm also asking end users to stay away from the latest processor updates.