Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patches are causing reboot issues in older chips

James Martin  CNET

James Martin CNET

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.

Microsoft has also released patches for the flaws, but earlier this week admitted that its Spectre Variant 2 patch slowed down some personal computers and servers, with systems running on older Intel Corp processors seeing a noticeable decrease in performance.

However, Shenoy did re-iterate that regular users should continue to apply updates when their system recommends.

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.

For recent chip flaws, once the patches are applied, developers have to rewrite code to support the patch.

"Eighth Generation Core platforms with solid-state storage will see a performance impact of 6% or less".

Intel is quietly advising some customers to hold off installing patches that address new security flaws affecting virtually all of its processors.

As explained in Google's post, most CPUs have a system in place that walls off applications so they can not see what's present in the memory of another application. That's when Google engineers looked into "moonshot" solutions. Patches should be available for most of its chips made in the past five years, CEO Brian Krzanich said at the CES trade show in Las Vegas this week.

Despite the rollout issues, the tech industry is still urging customers to patch their systems.

Meltdown affects just Intel chips, while Spectre affects just about all modern chips, including AMD, ARM, IBM Power chips and Nvidia. "They are not affected by these security issues", he shared.

Since the second version of Spectre needs a different fix, AMD will also provide its customers and partners for Ryzen and EPYC processors with a patch for its chips starting this week.

Google recently detailed its response to the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws.

Security best practices dictate containers run with least-privilege access to the underlying operating system and host.

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