Intel Says 90% Of Chips Affected By Spectre And Meltdown Exploits Patched

Bill Rogers
January 19, 2018

The patches come as Intel deals with the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, which were revealed two weeks ago and affected chips from multiple vendors.

CHIPMAKER AMD has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over claims that it artificially inflated its stock price by keeping quiet about the fact that the high-profile Spectre flaws affect its chips. As we continue these efforts, I would like to express my appreciation to many of our partners, including Dell, HPE, HPI, Lenovo and Microsoft, for joining our Security-First Pledge. The company acknowledges that it still has more work to do because while the patches have mitigated the exposure to security issues, some customers have complained about frequent reboots after the update.

"We further recommend that OEMs, Cloud service providers, system manufacturers and software vendors begin evaluation of Intel beta microcode update releases in anticipation of definitive root cause and subsequent production releases suitable for end users". Shenoy said that the company has issued patches for 90 percent of its chips made in the previous five years but it needs to do more in that space.

The company also claimed that its AMD CPUs, mostly from the Ryzen generation are not susceptible to the security flaws.

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"ARM Holdings PLC, the company that licenses the ARM architecture to Apple, admits that it was notified of the Security Vulnerabilities in June 2017 by Google's Project Zero and that it immediately notified its architecture licensees (presumably, including Apple) who create their own processor designs of the Security Vulnerabilities", says the lawsuit issued by Anthony Bartling and Jacqueline Olson in a USA district court in San Jose. Systems running Skylake processors for online transaction processing - a rather large segment of the computing world - can expect to see a four percent decrease in performance thanks to the patches.

Intel says that it's trying to also identify workarounds for performance problems.

With the FlexibleIO benchmarks, stressing the CPU fully during writes saw an 18 percent decrease in performance, because there was no headroom for processor utilisation, Intel said. "For example, there are other mitigations options that could yield less impact", Shenoy says, pointing to an Intel white paper for more information.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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