Intel tells users to stop deploying buggy Spectre patch, citing technical issues

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Erm... a little help
Author

23 January, 2018

All last week, users reported computers spontaneously rebooting after installing Intel's Spectre/Meltdown patch.

Intel has a pretty big Spectre/Meltdown problem on its hands. In a blog post published today, the company's executive vice president, Neil Shenoy, warned users of technical issues, urging them to hold off on downloading the fix until it can patch its patch.

Intel's announcement is likely to cause confusion for many consumers. This new update will be made available for the interim period. It can be hard to comb through those updates to weed out and avoid particular ones.

Indeed, in virtually the next breath after telling users not to install this particular patch, Shenoy advised users to keep their computers updated - a decidedly mixed message at best. Spectre affected almost every modern computing device, including those with chips from those companies and Advanced Micro Devices.

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Meltdown was specific to chips from Intel, as well as one from Softbank Group Corp's ARM Holdings.

Intel has acknowledged the new issues that could be faced by any user with affected PCs. Dell Technologies is conducting performance tests across its entire product portfolio to assess the impact of the software patches used to combat the Meltdown and Spectre security issues. Moreover, they are apparently making good progress in developing a solution t address it. It's testing a new patch with partners, he said. Intel also said it had identified the root cause of the reboot problem in its older Broadwell and Haswell processors. A spokesperson for Intel told Business Insider that the company is working on the Haswell and Broadwell chips first, and will subsequently work on fixes for other models.

The statement is the latest update from Intel on its messy follow up to the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, which were revealed two weeks ago and affected chips from multiple vendors. Once this initial phase of testing is completed, Intel will then release an updated patch that will [hopefully] not result in unexpected reboots for customers.


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