Items tagged with meltdown

AMD is facing a class action lawsuit related to recently disclosed chip vulnerabilities that have companies scrambling to release security patches. Those patches can potentially hamper performance, though the ire of the lawsuit against AMD is that it initially kept quiet about its chips being susceptible to both variants of Spectre, thereby "artificially inflating" the company's stock price in the wake of Meltdown and Spectre. "Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically,... Read more...
Intel last week acknowledged that firmware updates intended to mitigate the security threats posed by Meltdown and Spectre were causing reboot issues in both client and data center computers powered by Broadwell and Haswell processors. Now it turns out that PCs running newer generation CPUs are experiencing "more frequent reboots" after applying firmware upgrades as well. In a blog post, Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, said that firmware updates are now available for more than 90 percent of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years.... Read more...
There are a number of ways to tell if your computer is vulnerable to the Spectre or Meltdown security exploits that have been making rounds over the last several weeks. For instance, Microsoft has a tool that will analyze your rig and tell you, but it is a PowerShell script that gives you results that you almost need a computer science degree to understand. A new tool is now available that makes it very easy to test your machine and understand the results, and it is called InSpectre. InSpectre is from Steve Gibson, security researcher, and his tool (download here) delivers easy to... Read more...
Forget about planning just for Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of every month when Microsoft issues security updates to Windows users. As companies scramble to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre, you should be planning for Patch January, and maybe February as well. Case in point, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI have all now released firmware updates for a whole bunch of motherboard models. "ASUS is aware that the current Intel microcode version might be subject to recently identified security vulnerabilities. We are diligently working to update ASUS motherboards that support 6th, 7th or 8th Generation Intel... Read more...
With most of the attention focused on Intel with regards to Meltdown and Spectre -- Intel is the only chip OEM that is affected by both vulnerabilities -- the company has done its best to try to be as transparent as possible about how it issues firmware updates and patches for affected systems. Roughly a week ago, Intel started rolling out the first firmware updates aimed at mitigating any security issues surrounding both Meltdown and Spectre. However, almost immediately, customers began experiencing issues with their systems rebooting unexpectedly. The issue was first brought to the public sphere... Read more...
When the news of Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities first started making the round, Intel by far received the brunt of the hits with regards to negative reaction from customers and the press. Intel processors are susceptible to both Meltdown and Spectre, so that accounts for some of the reaction. However, AMD processors are vulnerable to Spectre, yet it has largely skated through unscathed. AMD's Chief Technology Officer, Mark Papermaster, looked to clarify the impact of Meltdown and Spectre on its expansive family of processors. With regards to Variant 1 (Spectre, Bounds Check Bypass),... Read more...
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Just ask the affected users of older AMD systems who had their PCs bricked after downloading and installing a Windows update that was supposed to protect them from Meltdown and Spectre. It is not just Windows users who are suffering, either. Some Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 users also report that the latest update for their OS has rendered their system unable to boot. "I just ran an update on my Ubuntu Mate 16.04 system, which updated the kernel to 4.4.0-108. (I don't know if this version has changes to mitigate the recently-discovered Intel security flaws.)... Read more...
There has been a lot of talk in recent days about what kind of performance impact that security patches for Meltdown and Spectre would have on overall system performance, with some reports suggesting that some systems could face up to a 30 percent hit. When Intel made its first comments on the matter a week ago, it noted, "for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time." Yesterday, Intel followed up with the following statement: Based on our most recent PC benchmarking, we continue to expect that the performance impact should not be significant for average... Read more...
There is a lot of buzz surrounding Meltdown and Spectre, two recently disclosed chip vulnerabilities that have hardware and software makers scrambling to release patches to deal with the situation. What is not fully known yet is what performance impact these patches will have. Regardless of how all it shakes out, some of Intel's data center customers that run cloud networks are looking to jump ship. The chip flaws, if you want to call them that (and many do, though Intel claims its processors are working as intended) collectively affect all modern CPUs to some extent. However, Intel's silicon seems... Read more...
The PC industry is still trying to come to grips with the fallout from the revelation of the Meltdown and Spectre chip vulnerabilities. Meltdown only affects Intel processors, while Spectre -- the more serious exploit -- affects processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Hardware OEMs and OS manufactures have banded together to release patches to help mitigate the effects of any attacks based on Meltdown or Spectre, although some of those patches have been disastrous. For its part, Microsoft is addressing some of the performance ramifications for installing patches to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre... Read more...
Microsoft certainly meant well by releasing patches to address the serious Meltdown and Spectre chip security vulnerabilities that have been making news for the past week. However, the company's efforts to put the kibosh on Meltdown and Spectre had the unfortunate side effect of crippling many machines running AMD processors. If there's any good news to these frequent reports of machines that are unable to boot after applying the patches, it's that the problem seems to mainly affect older AMD processors, like the Athlon X2 6000+. Given the many reports of [now] inoperable systems, Microsoft has... Read more...
Late last week, Apple confirmed that its iOS-based iPhones and iPads along with its Mac computers are vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre exploits (which we have covered in great detail over the past week). At the time, Apple confirmed that it silently introduced “mitigations” in previous updates to iOS, macOS and tvOS to help better defend against the Meltdown vulnerability. "In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre," said Apple on Friday. "We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them... Read more...
Microsoft has begun rolling out security patches to deal with Meltdown and Spectre, the names given to a pair of vulnerabilities that between the two affect practically every modern processor made by Intel, AMD, and ARM. Intel seems to be the most impacted of them all, though some AMD users are suffering from the fallout more than others—there are complaints that Microsoft's emergency patch is bricking some AMD systems. From sifting through the early complaints, the issue seems to be limited to older AMD processors, such as the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and similar chips that were released more... Read more...
Chip-level bugs Meltdown and Spectre continue to land chip-maker Intel in hot water. What do you do when every single chip you’ve produced since 1995 is now facing two of the most pervasive bugs your company has possibly ever experienced? Linux creator Linus Torvald brazenly suggests, honesty and complete candid admission of the real issues and solutions at hand, are the only true ways for Intel to navigate this PR and logistics nightmare. Earlier in the week, it was discovered that the two flaws exist in the company's chips dating back a decade or more. Intel has since been scrambling to... Read more...
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