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Intel warns users to stay away from its Meltdown, Spectre patch


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

Intel Corp. reported on Monday that it has discovered the cause of reboot issues that affected its Broadwell and Haswell processors after patches were applied created to fix potential side-channel "speculative execution" exploits. "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", Intel said today. The company has asked vendors to test these patch versions more quickly, to keep systems up to date, and to continue working with it to ensure customers are adequately protected.

At the issue's outbreak, Intel advised hardware partners to stop issuing updates for unpatched devices, but not to recall the updates they had already issued.

Shenoy offered no timing details about patch releases but promised to share more details "later this week".




The problem specifically involves PCs and servers on Intel's fifth generation Core Broadwell and fourth-generation Haswell platforms, roughly released starting between 2013 and 2015. It claims to have found the root cause of the issue in Haswell (4th-generation) and Broadwell (5th-generation) chips but didn't name older or newer processor families, like Ivy Bridge, Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake.

Meltdown removes the barrier between user applications and sensitive parts of the operating system.

"We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current [patch] versions", reads the statement, "as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior".

"I apologize for any disruption this change in guidance may cause", notes Intel Executive Vice President Navin Shenoy.

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