Intel Identifies Meltdown-Patch Reboot Problems in Broadwell and Haswell Chips

Don't download Intel's latest Spectre and Meltdown patch, Intel warns
Intel Identifies Meltdown-Patch Reboot Problems in Broadwell and Haswell Chips

23 January, 2018

A couple of days later, the company acknowledged similar issues with its patches for the company's more recent Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs.

Intel pumped the brakes on updates to some of its processors Monday, telling phone and computer makers as well as users to stop updating systems until Intel finishes investigating why the patches were causing devices to reboot unexpectedly. To check whether your system may have a problem, check the full list of processors at the Intel Product Security center.

A new version of the Meltdown/Spectre patches has been developed and is now in testing, Intel said. Over the weekend it released an early version the fix for Broadwell and Haswell chips to OEMs, which it plans to release once testing is complete.

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"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", explained Intel VP Navin Shenoy. There was no indication of when Intel will release an updated fix, although the industry is very concerned about the ability of attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities. He advised users of Intel processors to follow security best practices and to keep systems patched.

In a blog post, Intel said new patches for Broadwell and Haswell-based computers - chips that are two generations removed from the current Skylake design - are being tested by "industry partners", which nearly assuredly includes the Big Three cloud computing providers in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google.

In new guidance, the company states: "We have now identified the root cause for Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress in developing a solution to address it". In a blog post published today, the company's executive vice president, Neil Shenoy, warned users of technical issues, urging them to hold off on downloading the fix until it can patch its patch.

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