March 21, 2018

Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patch is wreaking havoc on older CPUs

13 January 2018, 06:02 | Lucia Cruz

Meltdown and Spectre chip flaw timeline

An Update on AMD Processor Security | AMD

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has taken the brunt of the punishment to date. "Differences in AMD architecture mean there is a near zero risk of exploitation of this variant", the post reads.

Papermaster also notes that the company's Radeon GPUs do not use speculative execution and that no updates to its graphics drivers or associated software are necessary. The remaining Chromebook which haven't been patched but also haven't reached their end of life status are simply waiting on pending back ports so the patches are coming they just haven't been completed and pushed out to users yet.

Google believes that Retpoline is the best solution because it fully protects against Spectre's second variant and has a minimal impact on the system's performance.

Meltdown and Spectre have been discovered in computer chips in billions of computers, smartphone and tablets across the world.

Be warned: Intel's recent maintenance update - created to address the terrifying Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities - could affect the performance of some of its older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. By December, Google was done rolling out protections against all three variants of Spectre.

This position helped to boost AMD stock at the same time that Intel's was sliding.

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"Microsoft is working with AMD to resolve this issue and should resume Windows OS security updates to this subset of AMD processors via Windows Update and WSUS by next week", the company added.

The real problem began on January 11, when AMD released a statement updating its position on Spectre.

"For several months, it appeared that disabling the vulnerable CPU features would be the only option for protecting all our workloads against Variant 2 ..." AMD will release firmware updates for its Ryzen and Epyc processors and will begin working on a fix for early generation CPUs. For example, Google yesterday reported that it had developed a "moonshot" mitigation for Spectre that has no material effect on the workload performance of its cloud customers.

Intel has been in the spotlight as being at the center of the mess.

As if dealing with Meltdown and Spectre wasn't enough of a mess already, Intel has revealed that its firmware updates are causing problems on some older PCs. Intel's issues simply affect more people and businesses.

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