Since the Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws were made public earlier this month, Intel and its partners have been scrambling to deploy patches to user devices. Intel’s CPU fixes are making some Haswell- and Broadwell-based computers reboot more often, for example.
The terse statement continued: “We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates”.
Two techniques dubbed Meltdown and Spectre could enable hackers to expose crucial data and secrets, such as passwords and encryption keys, from any vulnerable computer, including mobile devices and servers running in so-called cloud computer networks.
Firmware updates available for Ryzen and EPYC CPUs will be going to PC makers this week for distribution to system owners.
Now that CES is winding down, attention is returning to the response to the major vulnerabilities caused by oversights in the way speculative execution is handled in most modern processors.
Rockwell Automation has reported a dozen errors that are appearing in its FactoryTalk based products after installing Microsoft’s Meltdown and Spectre patches for Windows systems. As for Spectre, companies like Google have issued a list of their services and their current safety levels, which also highlight recommended actions for users, one of which involves enabling “site isolation” on Google Chrome to help stop Spectre attacks. The vulnerabilities affect the processors but also software that runs on the systems. In the announcement of the pledge, Krzanich promised to work with customers to find vulnerabilities, prioritize patches and be transparent about progress and potential performance issues and.
Intel’s post came on the heels of a Wall Street Journal story claiming that Intel is teling some customers to delay applying the update to avoid system stability problems.
Multi-core scores are nearly as bad, dropping from 1,616 to 2,665, down by 39 per cent. Memory was impacted the least, with performance declining in Mughal’s benchmarks by 14 and eight per cent for single and multicore, respectively.
According to Jake Williams, founder of Rendition InfoSec, businesses will suffer the most as a result of these chip flaws. But security researcher Paul Kocher, who discovered some of the issues with Intel’s chips, said this sort of thing is to be expected. Google managed to devise patches for its cloud services that addressed Meltdown and the first variant of Spectre.