Meltdown: Intel now asking everyone to skip flawed firmware updates

Intel provides reboot issue guidance

Intel provides reboot issue guidance

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.

But unfortunately, after sending the software patch to computer manufacturers and enterprise customers, chipmaker Intel discovered that its security fix caused reboot problems. The firm claims to have already issued early versions of fixes for these issues to its partners, but not yet a final release.

Intel's advice today is pretty much the same-it's advising OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, and software vendors to stop deploying the buggy updates, and to focus on testing early versions of the updated firmware. Specifically, it is causing unexpected reboot issues. However, it appears to be problematic for those on Broadwell or Haswell.

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There have been numerous reports of issues with the various patches issued by vendors, including Intel. Once that testing wraps up, the update will be made available for everyone. There was no indication of when Intel will release an updated fix, although the industry is very concerned about the ability of attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities.

However, Intel has yet to directly address similar issues affecting both older and more recent processors than the Broadwell and Haswell families, namely Ivy Bridge, Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake generations.

Navin Shenoy, Intel's vice president of data centres, apologised for the the disruption and advised all users to stop applying the current patches. "I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues". 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.

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