Intel Says Meltdown, Spectre Patches Can Cause Reboot Problems in Old Chips

14 January, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Socket A bringing it back — anybody got some scotch tape and a pencil

The flaws affect billions of systems globally across AMD, ARM and Intel designs.

While its statement regarding its products' vulnerability both Spectre variants has changed, the company said its chips' architecture will make it very hard for attackers to exploit version 2.

The Meltdown and Spectre patches are being pushed by Microsoft and Apple were deemed safe for application. Since "no mitigation is required" for variant 3, it won't be creating a patch for the vulnerability. Kocher was one of the researchers who identified the Spectre vulnerability.


In the meantime, Microsoft this week said it has "temporarily paused" patches for Windows customers running AMD processors after some users reported seeing the "blue screen of death" after the update was applied. With regards to Variant 1 (Spectre, Bounds Check Bypass), Papermaster says that AMD processors are in fact vulnerable. The company advised end-users to continue to apply updates recommended by their system and operating system providers. According to Google, the patch has a "negligible" impact on performance, especially compared to the Microsoft and Intel patches, which have been confirmed to slow down some systems.

While patches and updates are being issued across a broad spectrum of devices - and device hardware - no company has issued an all-clear just yet.

AMD says it will make optional microcode updates available to customers and partners for Ryzen and EPYC processors starting this week, and for previous CPU generations in the coming weeks. We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue. The chipmaker also said it's working with Redmond to address a problem that delayed the distribution of patches for its older processors. In addition, AMD said its AMD Radeon GPU products are not affected by either Meltdown or Spectre vulnerabilities because the architecture does not use speculative execution.

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