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Intel's Latest On Spectre Fix Reboot Issue: Updated Fix Being Tested

23 January 2018

But unfortunately, after sending the software patch to computer manufacturers and enterprise customers, chipmaker Intel discovered that its security fix caused reboot problems.

Patching certain variants of the Spectre vulnearbility requires Intel to rewrite processor firmware, a challenging task that's much harder than patching the security flaws at a browser and operating system level. "Over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed".

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"We believe it is important for OEMs and our customers to follow this guidance for all of the specified platforms listed below, as they may demonstrate higher than expected reboots and unpredictable system behavior". Regular computer users don't have a lot to worry about, but operations managers at cloud companies and data centers have done little else in 2018 but worry about these security issues and the performance impact of the patches created to mitigate those issues. The stability issues were initially thought to be contained to older Broadwell and Haswell chips, but Intel confirmed last week it was also happening on Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake processors. Intel will provide more details about the timing of the fix for these chip architectures this week, according to its updated advisory.

Navin Shenoy, Intel's vice president of data centres, apologised for the the disruption and advised all users to stop applying the current patches.

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Now Shenoy says Intel has "identified the root cause for Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress in developing a solution to address it".

And, hopefully, those left out in the cold by Intel should soon (Intel promises!) have a fix coming their way. "I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues".

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Intel's Latest On Spectre Fix Reboot Issue: Updated Fix Being Tested