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Intel Asks Customers to Halt Patching Chip Bug


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Intel Asks Customers to Halt Patching for Chip Bug, Citing Flaw


January 23, 2018

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Intel Corp said on Monday that patches it released to address two high-profile security vulnerabilities in its chips are faulty, advising customers, computer makers and cloud providers to stop installing them.

Intel Executive Vice President Navin Shenoy disclosed the problem in a statement on the chipmaker’s website, saying that patches released after months of development caused computers to reboot more often than normal and other “unpredictable” behavior.

“I apologize for any disruption this change in guidance may cause,” Shenoy said. “I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues.”

The issue of the faulty patches is separate from complaints by customers for weeks that the patches slow computer performance. Intel has said a typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns.

Intel’s failure to provide a usable patch could cause businesses to postpone purchasing new computers, said IDC analyst Mario Morales.

Intel is “still trying to get a handle on what’s really happening. They haven’t resolved the matter,” he said.

Intel asked technology providers to start testing a new version of the patches, which it began distributing on Saturday.

The warning came nearly three weeks after Intel confirmed on Jan. 3 that its chips were impacted by vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown, which make data on affected computers vulnerable to espionage.

Meltdown was specific to chips from Intel, as well as one from SoftBank Group Corp’s ARM Holdings. Spectre affected nearly every modern computing device, including ones with chips from Intel, ARM and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Problems with the patches have been growing since Intel on Jan. 11 said they were causing higher reboot rates in its older chips and then last week that the problem was affecting newer processors.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Intel asking customers to halt using the patches.


Edited by monroe
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This sure is a ginormous janfu! In any case, even if Intel gets its act together, I doubt they'll ever release BIOS updates for any processor older than the currenly supported ones (and maybe the latest to reach EoL, too, those being the 6th gen ones). Every user of any previous processors is on his/her own, no matter what Intel releases. Not very bright as a perspective, but thankfully most of this Meltdown/Spectre talk is FUD, anyway... And may be a heaven-sent (?) way to get people to upgrade hardware, provided they come up with something "safe," before eventually crashing & burning for the lack of it.

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not that simple to just jump to newest HW...

remember that any device is vaulnerable
mobile-phones, atm's, kiosk's, pc's, tablets ... ...

not so cheap to get new home PC device and phone (not to mention these new OS-es suck balls)


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New hardware contains either Intel's Management Engine or AMD's equivalent of the Management Engine, meaning that you cannot buy your way out of avoiding those future embarrassments.

I'm left with old hardware and left scratching my head on what to do about it. None of the reports care to mention what I should be doing. And my vendor's not going to do it; this laptop is from 2007...

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