Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Intel Meltdown patch causes issues with Broadwell and Haswell

Intel Meltdown patch causes issues with Broadwell and Haswell

Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel published a short security issue update to explain that new firmware updates for the company's Haswell and Broadwell CPUs can cause reboot issues in certain circumstances (via Computerworld).

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.

Following announcements of the Google Project Zero security exploits last week, Intel has continued to work closely with our partners with the shared goal of restoring confidence in the security of our customers' data as quickly as possible.

According to Shenoy, Intel will most likely be pushing out revised firmware (sans unexpected rebooting) through its "normal channels", and is in direct contact with its data center customers regarding the issue. "For those Intel customers who are anxious about performance impacts, you should know that we will work on creative solutions with our industry partners to reduce those performance impacts wherever possible". Intel needs to straighten this up and the sooner the better.

Intel has released an update addressing the patches the company has issued to resolve recently-revealed, massive CPU security flaws, and the performance hits (and other quirks) users are experiencing in the wake of the updates.

The cause of the issue is now unknown, but Intel has revealed it's working around the clock to assemble and distribute a patch - though there's no telling how long it will take to arrive. That report cited an internal Intel document disclosing that the company identified three issues in microcode updates released over the past week meant to address the vulnerabilities.

Since the major processor-based Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities came to light earlier this month, technology companies have been working to develop and deploy patches across millions, if not billions, of devices.

So far there hasn't been a documented case of anyone taking advantage of this exploit, which, Google pointed out in a blog post yesterday, has existed in chips for 20 years, but security experts have suggested it would be hard to attribute an issue to this particular exploit, even if they had known about it. We also commit to adding incremental funding for academic and independent research into potential security threats. "If their internal teams start locating vulnerabilities before external teams like Google do, that will be proof the pledge is more than just hype".

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