Intel recommends PC users avoid their Spectre patch

Intel recommends PC users avoid their Spectre patch

"We believe it is important for OEMs and our customers to follow this guidance for all of the specified platforms listed below, as they may demonstrate higher than expected reboots and unpredictable system behavior". Intel now thinks it knows why and is making "good progress" on a solution.

Well, not exactly. You see, it turns out the patch that was issued by Intel has a few problems of its own.

More than six months after Google informed Intel that almost all the computers on the planet released in the last 20 years have security holes thanks to a chip design flaw, Intel seems no closer to completely addressing the Meltdown and Spectre issues than it did when it first went public with the news in early January. There is also the reboot problem, which Shenoy admitted last week affected not just the Broadwell and Haswell chips originally identified, but also CPUs based on the newer Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake. This is so that they can test it before the final release. 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.

Navin Shenoy, Intel's vice president of data centres, apologised for the the disruption and advised all users to stop applying the current patches.

Now that a fix is in testing, Intel is recommending that "OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions" to limit the impact of unexpected reboots with current updates. "The security of our products is critical for Intel, our customers and partners, and for me, personally".

Spectre and Meltdown are about as bad as vulnerabilities can get, offering significant security issues on a wide variety of processors with only a band aid solution now available.