Intel admits Spectre patch problems also affect newer Core chips


Users that haven't installed the latest BIOS are not affected, and Intel says that new patches will enter the validation phase early next week.

CHIPMAKER AMD has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over claims that it artificially inflated its stock price by keeping quiet about the fact that the high-profile Spectre flaws affect its chips. "But we have more work to do".

"The firmware updates are effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues, customers have reported more frequent reboots on firmware updated systems".

Navin Shenoy is executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel Corporation.

"We further recommend that OEMs, Cloud service providers, system manufacturers and software vendors begin evaluation of Intel beta microcode update releases in anticipation of definitive root cause and subsequent production releases suitable for end users".

The chip giant then added that "similar behavior" occurs on some machines which have still-older Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (2nd and 3rd-gen) processors, but more worryingly, newer Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs (6th and 7th-gen). Shenoy said that the company has issued patches for 90 percent of its chips made in the previous five years but it needs to do more in that space.

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Going on two weeks since the reveal of Meltdown and Spectre, are you all patched up? As Intel admitted last week, some folks on Haswell and Broadwell CPUs are seeing spontaneous system restarts because of the updates. But there are also instances where performance is more adversely affected.

REUTERS/Pichi ChuangAttempting to install the Microsoft Meltdown and Spectre patch on PCs run by older AMD chipsets will likely put the computer in a non-bootable state.

Intel confirmed that the patches are affecting performance in some cases.

They basically allow hackers to compromise the operating system and parts of the memory and also enable them to steal confidential information such as credentials (passwords, key logs and so on) leaked in the data stored in cache files/kernel or memory of running programs on computers with chips from the likes of Intel, ARM or even AMD.

The post highlights other mitigation options that have less of a performance impact, including Google's "Retpoline" security solution, which is said to have nearly no effect on a system's speed.