Intel Continues To Struggle Delivering Stable Spectre And Meltdown Fixes

REUTERS  Nir Elias An Intel logo is seen at the company's offices in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv Israel

About a week and a half ago, Intel acknowledged that firmware updates meant to mitigate security threats posed by Spectre and Meltdown were causing reboot issues on some Broadwell and Haswell systems.

As Intel began to roll out patches for the flaws, problems cropped up. Specifically, it is causing unexpected reboot issues. Now, things are so busted that the company is telling some of its customers to avoid the official patch altogether. However, until then, Intel is changing their tune in terms of updating.

"We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior", Navin Shenoy, executive vice-president and general manager of Intel's data center group, said in a release Monday.

More importantly, the exec says that Intel has finally identified the root cause of reboot issues on Broadwell and Haswell processors. 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.

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The company published a full list of Intel-based platforms that are impacted by this problem, and it's quite long.

The computer industry this month has been scrambling to address the Meltdown and Spectre attack methods, even though they knew about the security issues six months before details were publicly disclosed.

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. It may be that Haswell and Broadwell fixes will arrive soon, but that the other processors will take longer to fix.

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