Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Microsoft issues emergency Intel microcode-disabling patch

Intel Warned Chinese Companies of Chip Flaws Before US Government WSJ: 'Near Certainty' China Knew of Intel Security Flaws Before US
Derrick Tucker | 30 January, 2018, 01:35

The company recently released a new Windows 7, 8.1, 10 update (KB4078130) to disable the previously released patches.

"We're working to create silicon-based changes to future products, that will directly address the Spectre and Meltdown threats in hardware".

Intel would not reveal which companies they had discussed the bugs with but stated that they didn't have time to contact everyone directly, including the us government, due to the early reveal of the Meltdown and Spectre bugs.

Intel asking everyone to skip its flawed firmware updates was apparently not enough for Microsoft. While there hasn't been any indication that China has taken advantage of the flaws, the report reveals Intel's glaring mistake to keep the United States government in the dark and thereby delaying the response time for issuing fixes. Intel is testing the new update on all processor to ensure that no performance and reboot issues occur in the patched systems.

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"We recommend Windows customers, when appropriate, re-enable the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715 when Intel reports that this unpredictable system behavior has been resolved for your device", the company said.

The company has been faced with the huge problem of coming out with a working fix for the Spectre and Meltdown security holes that were publicly disclosed previous year, and judging from their current progress, a software-based solution will not provide a universal fix. The company warned users last week that its Spectre fixes have been causing problems such as random reboots, they also warned users that the fixes may also cause "Data loss or corruption".

For Intel, "America First" might not have applied to whom it told first when it discovered the now-infamous chip flaws that have been dubbed Spectre and Meltdown. Big names like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft were ready relatively quickly, but most everyone else was left racing to fix or mitigate the flaws. With both hardware vendors struggling to develop reliable updates, Microsoft has been forced to take the unprecedented step of issuing multiple emergency Windows patches in an attempt to contain the disruption to end users. Despite the issues with the way the company addressed the Spectre Variant 2 attack, shareholders seem confident that the company will be able to work to address the problems before these bugs translate to a lack of sales. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels.

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