Intel's Chip Patch Triggers Reboots for Haswell, Broadwell Systems

Majority of Chromebooks Safe from Meltdown Vulnerability

Intel's Chip Patch Triggers Reboots for Haswell, Broadwell Systems

In a statement, the company suggested: "We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates". These can be found at the Intel.com website.

The flaws, which affect chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, allow hackers to read a computer's memory and steal passwords, putting virtually all phones, computers and servers at risk.

Be warned: Intel's recent maintenance update - created to address the terrifying Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities - could affect the performance of some of its older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs.

Sixth generation Skylake CPUs take the biggest hit from Intel and Microsoft's mitigations, especially in system responsiveness tests which are running at a 21% performance deficit from an unpatched system.

Intel is still diagnosing the reboot issue, but it plans to release a revised firmware update, if needed.

Intel is now looking into reports that some of its customers are experiencing reboots in systems that update to the latest firmware for Meltdown/Spectre mitigation.

"We are also working directly with data centre customers to discuss the issue".

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Williams claimed the industry as a whole likely wouldn't be "willing to settle for slower processors that might be vulnerable unless there are proof of concept exploits available".

Microsoft said this week security patches will slow down most computers, though it varies based on the age of a computer and its operating system.

Infrastructure automation will help, but these vulnerabilities arose from CPU technology that drastically improved performance, with more efficient memory caching and pre-fetching.

The potential review of the Intel Meltdown patch comes soon after CEO BrianKrzanich announced the company's "Security-First Pledge".

While admitting that "Spectre" and "Meltdown" were two of the most complex flaws to fix in the past decade, Google has revealed the details of how it protected Gmail and other cloud services in a research shared with other tech companies, hoping they will deploy similar solutions to improve the cloud experience across the industry (via Engadget). Vulnerability to Variant 2 has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date.

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. "If the question becomes, 'Is [the pledge] valuable or just brand management?' the answer has to be that it's both", Wenzler told SearchSecurity.

Intel has arguably been worst affected of all the major chip designers, with CPUs going back to 1995 affected. But with the vulnerabilities now public, security researchers worry it'll only be a matter of time.

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