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Microsoft Releases Updates To Mitigate Intel's Flawed Chip Fixes
30 January 2018, 01:32 | Ruben Fields
Intel reportedly notified Chinese companies of chip security flaw before the US government
Microsoft has made a decision to step in and help users who are fighting these unexpected reboots with an out-of-phase patch released on Saturday specifically to address the reboot issues with the Intel microcode meant to address Spectre variant 2 (CVE 2017-5715 Branch Target Injection).
Engadget reports that CPU manufacturer Intel warned a number of customers including Chinese firms such as Alibaba and Lenovo about the "Meltdown" bug that left millions of CPU's vulnerable worldwide before they warned the US government.
An official at the Department of Homeland Security said that the staffers learned of the flaws on January 3 from news reports and not from Intel in advance, explaining the hastily-provided mitigation for the problem. Intel is testing the new update on all processor to ensure that no performance and reboot issues occur in the patched systems.
Intel's initial patch for Spectre was found to causes unexpected reboots and "other unpredictable system behavior" in some devices that could also lead to corruption or loss of data.
"After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown", the company said at the time.
Intel did warn people away from the patch last week until a more stable patch can be released.
Brian Krzanich, the company's CEO said on the call to talk about its fourth quarter results that they have made progress and he is highly aware that they need to do more.
Because they had early warning, Microsoft, Google and Amazon were able to roll out protections for their cloud-computing customers before details of Meltdown and Spectrebecame public. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels.
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