Spectre-Meltdown Glitches - PCs & Servers at Risk

Posted: Monday, 22 January 2018 @ 11:59

Random reboots are occurring on PC’s with newer Intel processors after the update for protection against the Spectre CPU flaw. Intel have conducted tests and found that the random reboots are affecting its new processors as well as its older chips.

Intel found that systems had an increase in unwanted reboots after the firmware related update relating to the Spectre issue was installed on systems with Skylake, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Kaby Lake architecture. They’ve advised computer manufacturers to stop offering the Spectre firmware update despite the side effects. Intel have also said however that administrators in datacentres should assess the risk of an exploit by Spectre against the cost of random reboots.

Hackers could bypass system protections on many devices due to the Meltdown and Spectre design flaws in CPU’s which means sensitive information such as passwords could be read. The update that causes the random reboots was released to prevent attacks that use Branch Target Injection to exploit the Spectre vulnerability.

New beta firmware updates are to be released by Intel to system vendors which are to be validated this week. Patches for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability will be released separately.

Server performance will also be severely decreased due to the Spectre update as discovered by Intel.

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