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Intel Confirms Patches for Meltdown and Spectre Bugs Affect Even Newer Generations of CPUs

Intel recently confirmed that the performance of a number of CPU chips, even those of the newer generations, will be affected by the system updates meant to fix the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities.

Intel executive vice president Navin Shenoy addressed their customers and industry partners in a recent blog post and detailed the developments in the firmware updates they are working on to continuously resolve the massive effects of Meltdown and Spectre.

“We have now issued firmware updates for 90 percent of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years, but we have more work to do,” Shenoy said.

The Intel executive added that the released firmware updates have been “effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues.” However, he recognized that these patches have caused “frequent reboots” on updated computers.

Shenoy then confirmed that the computer reboots were experienced on systems powered by Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms, among others.

Following the reports gathered, Intel is performing internal tests to reproduce the reboot issues and Shenoy assured people that the microchip-making company was “making progress toward identifying the root cause.”

After the tests, which will presumably end next week, the company will issue a “beta microcode” of another security patch to various vendors and computer makers so this can be validated as good for applying on specific computer models.

Shenoy also posted updates on the performance tests they were conducting in data centers. “These results are run on industry standard benchmarks and are helpful, but we understand that what ultimately matters to our customers is their own workloads,” Shenoy explained of the experiments.

“As expected, our testing results to date show performance impact that ranges depending on specific workloads and configurations. Generally speaking, the workloads that incorporate a larger number of user/kernel privilege changes and spend a significant amount of time in privileged mode will be more adversely impacted,” Shenoy further explained.

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Stephen

Stephen Turner, the Director of Operations for predictiveIT, has spent the past 22 years involved in the technology realm and security. Stephen began his career in the United States Marine Corps as a Crypto Technician, before moving into the private sector. He has worked all facets of the Information Technology world including administration, security, consulting, project management, Director of Cyber Security and as a Chief Information Officer for nationwide organization where he was responsible for architecting the security infrastructure during the migration of the organization’s entire data center to the “cloud”. Stephen has trained as a Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Security Professional and as a Red Hat Certified Architect with a focus on Linux security.
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