Intel urges halt to installing its Meltdown/Spectre patches

by Fredrick Graves January 23, 2018, 1:32
Intel urges halt to installing its Meltdown/Spectre patches

Unfortunately, there isn't much those who are affected with the rebooting issues can do until Intel releases the new patch. Instead, these partners should "focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release".

It's still not clear what the long-term implications of Meltdown and Spectre are for users running systems older than Kaby Lake or Skylake, and the state of communication around these various patches hasn't helped.

Now Executive VP Navin Shenoy has posted on the Intel Newsroom that they have now identified what is causing the problem.

Each time news trickles out about just how insane this unprecedented industry event really is, cloud vendors and data center managers consider buying servers from AMD or ARM vendors the next time their systems need to be replaced. The following week, Intel, in a blog post, acknowledged it was aware of the issues with the patch, noting that they seemed to particularly affect its fourth-generation Haswell and fifth-generation Broadwell chips, and said it was looking into the problem.

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The company is advising people to stay far away from its patch after users complained that it caused their machines to reboot.

About a week and a half ago, Intel acknowledged that firmware updates meant to mitigate security threats posed by Spectre and Meltdown were causing reboot issues on some Broadwell and Haswell systems. To check whether your system may have a problem, check the full list of processors at the Intel Product Security center. Intel says they were "working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues".

Intel now says users should avoid installing and partners should stop distributing the patch it issued to protect against the Meltdown and Spectre attacks. Once that testing wraps up, the update will be made available for everyone. However, it appears to be problematic for those on Broadwell or Haswell. That's because manufacturers deliver the Spectre and Meltdown updates to the chips through a different program.


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