Intel Releases New Spectre Patch For Skylake-Based Processors Sans Nasty Reboot Bug

Intel has had a rough time patching the Meltdown and Spectre chip exploits that were first publicized in early January. The company issued microcode updates that helped to mitigate the exploits on processor architectures dating back to Broadwell. However, Intel quickly found out that not all was well, with customers reporting problems with random system rebooting.

After pulling the updates and conferring with its OEM partners, Intel is now an issuing a second "production" microcode update for "several" Skylake-platforms. At this time, Intel is distributing the new microcode updates to system OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and Dell so that they can prepare BIOS updates for their systems. If you recall, Dell warned customers not to install the previous Spectre BIOS update after Intel's disclosures and even provided customers with directions to reverts back to an older BIOS.

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Unfortunately, this new microcode update is only available for mainstream Skylake mainstream desktop and mobile platforms -- revised Skylake X and Skylake SP microcode updates have not yet been released. For the time being, Intel says that it is currently testing and releasing beta microcode updates for additional platforms to its OEM partners. Production microcode will then be pushed out once that testing has wrapped up.

Navin Shenoy, Intel Executive VP and GM of the Data Center Group, who has been keeping us abreast of the latest details surrounding Meltdown and Spectre, also urged both regular customers and business to upgrade their systems as soon as possible. "I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is for everyone to always keep their systems up-to-date," said Shenoy.

"Research tells us there is frequently a substantial lag between when people receive updates and when they actually implement them. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber-emergency unit, US-CERT, as many as 85 percent of all targeted attacks can be prevented with – among other things – regular system updates."

For more information on Meltdown and Spectre, be sure to read our original story here.