Linus Torvalds Blasts Intel's Spectre And Meltdown Patches As 'Garbage And Insane'

Intel has been taking heat for patches that it deployed for the Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws. Recently deployed patches have resulted in some systems being subjected to random rebooting. However, Linus Torvalds is blasting Intel for another consequence of its patching regimen. In Torvalds' words, the patches are complete garbage.

"They do literally insane things. They do things that do not make sense," said Torvalds. "I think we need something better than this garbage."

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He made these comments via a public Linux kernel mailing list that included Amazon engineer David Woodhouse. Torvalds is of course talking about the patches and how they are implemented for the Linux kernel to address Spectre and Meltdown. Both chip flaws enable hackers to bypass protections in place on modern PCs, servers and smartphones (among other devices), allowing access to data that should be hidden from prying eyes. For a detailed explanation of both vulnerabilities, be sure to check out our in-depth look here.

Torvalds also accuses Intel of taking a scattershot approach to addressing the chip vulnerabilities so that it can protect itself legally. "I'm sure there is some lawyer there who says 'We'll have to go through motions to protect against a lawsuit.' But legal reasons do not make for good technology, or good patches that I should apply," he added.

This isn't the first time that Torvalds has attacked Intel over its handling of Spectre and Meltdown. Earlier this month, he complained, "I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPUs, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed.

"Or is Intel basically saying 'We are committed to selling you shit forever and ever, and never fixing anything'? Because if that's the case, maybe we should start looking towards the ARM64 people more."