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Intel's Meltdown And Spectre Patches Causing Reboots On PCs With Newer Processors

19 Января 2018

Back on January 11, Intel started seeing reports of random system reboots after applying Meltdown and Spectre patches on Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs.

The lawsuits aim to acquire compensation from AMD for the damage it has caused with its misleading statements about the supposed safety of its CPUs against the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws. As we continue these efforts, I would like to express my appreciation to many of our partners, including Dell, HPE, HPI, Lenovo and Microsoft, for joining our Security-First Pledge.

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

Intel said that it had replicated these issues in internal testing, and that it's making progress in terms of identifying the precise cause.

The complainants allege that Apple was likely aware of the design defects that gave rise to the Meltdown and Spectre problems since at least June 2017, but chose not to disclose the details to its customers.

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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).

Going on two weeks since the reveal of Meltdown and Spectre, are you all patched up?

The post confirmed that some 90% of processors that are five years old or less, now have suitable patches available. "Generally speaking, the workloads that incorporate a larger number of user/kernel privilege changes and spend a significant amount of time in privileged mode will be more adversely impacted". After it was forced to acknowledge the flaws ahead of schedule, Intel insisted in a January 4th press release that "Industry Testing Shows Recently Released Security Updates Not Impacting Performance in Real-World Deployments".

The patches lead to a 2% slowdown for regular tasks like running website servers, while online transactions at a stock brokerage suffered a 4% slowdown, the chipmaker said.

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.

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Intel's Meltdown And Spectre Patches Causing Reboots On PCs With Newer Processors