Intel: Don't Deploy Our Faulty Spectre Patches

Intel provides reboot issue guidance

Users reported higher than usual numbers of rebooting and instability soon after Intel and its equipment manufacturer partners released the security patches, which provide new firmware for Intel processors.

PC users have been complaining that Intel's rushed Spectre and Meltdown patches were causing spontaneous reboots, and now Intel has admitted as much, and now officially recommends users avoid their software.

Instead, Intel asked customers to start testing an updated version of its patches that it began sending out on Saturday and Sunday.

Intel has a patching problem.

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Just days after revealing that the reboot problem affecting Spectre/Meltdown-patched systems is more widespread than initially thought, Intel on Monday advised users to stop deploying its buggy fixes.

"For those concerned about system stability while we finalize the updated solutions", Shenoy added, "we are also working with our OEM partners on the option to utilize a previous version of microcode that does not display these issues, but removes the Variant 2 (Spectre) mitigations". Both updates typically are needed, particularly to ward off Spectre-type attacks, Microsoft explained earlier this month.

New advice released today tells users who have CPUs on devices from the Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, Skylake, Broadwell, Haswell, Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge families to hold back. In that post, he had suggested that vendors would get firmware updates for those processors sometime this week.

Intel hasn't said when fixed patches will be available for other architectures, but notes that the Broadwell and Haswell fixes should help it address the reboot problems on other platforms. So far, things haven't gone smoothly. "This would be delivered via a BIOS update, and would not impact mitigations for Variant 1 (Spectre) and Variant 3 (Meltdown)". Intel says they were "working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues".



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