Don't download Intel's latest Spectre and Meltdown patch, Intel warns

Terry Joseph
January 23, 2018

It seems Intel is asking many clients to rip that band aid off as the supposed cure is now causing more widespread harm than the vulnerabilities it is to protect against.

Intel initially believed the reboot problem was limited to firmware updated systems running its older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. 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. Shenoy apologizes further. He then states that they are working "around the clock" to ensure the final fix gets out as soon. Once that testing wraps up, the update will be made available for everyone. Specifically, it is causing unexpected reboot issues.

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.

And you can be fairly sure that Torvalds is not happy with the release because everyone has been busy dealing with the fallout from Meltdown and Spectre, even though the impact on Linux is minimal.

Shenoy's announcement on Monday offered no mention, as he had explained in his earlier January 17 post, that other processors also are affected by the reboot problems, namely "Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms".

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One partner, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the channel's role is the talk with impacted customers and help them understand what steps are necessary for dealing with the Spectre and Meltdown exploits.

Intel first acknowledged the problem more than a week ago, saying chips in the company's lines called Broadwell and Haswell were causing problems after receiving updates.

"We continue to urge all customers to vigilantly maintain security best practice and for consumers to keep systems up-to-date", Shenoy said.

Last week, Intel said the problem also affected its most recent Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors.

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