Intel Meltdown Fix Causes Reboot Issue With Haswell And Broadwell Chips

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Intel Meltdown Fix Causes Reboot Issue With Haswell And Broadwell Chips

Some older processors based on the Haswell and Broadwell architecture have been reportedly been experiencing rebooting issues; a situation that Intel is working on resolving as soon as possible.

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities refer to a flaw in the design of many server processors could potentially allow unauthorised users to either read the kernel memory from the user space memory or to read the contents of memory from other running programs.

"As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data", Krzanich said.

Intel is still diagnosing the reboot issue, but it plans to release a revised firmware update, if needed.

"We are also working directly with data centre customers to discuss the issue".

Google had earlier outlined how it was addressing the issue, and on Friday provided detail about a fix it had deployed that it says does not negatively impact performance. "These are non-trivial changes to make and small differences in systems can make a world of difference".

The security issues known as Spectre and Meltdown were first announced by Google engineers on January 3. Months passed before the problems were disclosed to the public.

Intel and AMD have been issuing updates through partners including Microsoft and hardware vendors.

"Let's be transparent about what patches for these vulnerabilities mean", Williams said.

Google's fix - called Retpoline - addresses the "branch target injection", or second variant, of the two Spectre CPU attacks. In many cases, code will have to recompiled to be protected against these vulnerabilities. A report from the Wall Street Journal says that some of the patches Intel has released have caused problems of their own.

Meltdown and Spectre are two new levels of security vulnerability.

Adding to the list of companies that definitely knew about the CPU exploits is Google, whose Project Zero team was part of the group that publicly revealed information about Spectre and Meltdown. Intel and AMD also pushed microcode firmware updates to partially protect users against the Spectre vulnerability, which is harder to fix than Meltdown. "If the question becomes, 'Is [the pledge] valuable or just brand management?' the answer has to be that it's both", Wenzler told SearchSecurity. Those updates can be found on Intel's site.

Intel has arguably been worst affected of all the major chip designers, with CPUs going back to 1995 affected.

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