Windows Update to Fix Spectre/Meltdown Exploits Broke Some PCs

Intel has been in a world of hurt ever since the major security bugs inside of virtually every Intel CPU and many other CPUs on the market, but the news of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich selling $24 million worth of Intel shares - even though he knew about Meltdown and Spectre, has people not-so-happy. The company has also been exposed to the two Spectre flaws, and will be pushing out patches to resolve the issue.

Intel said on Thursday it would issue patches for 90 percent of the chips less than 5 years old by Jan 15 and will then focus on providing patches for the older chips.

Earlier this week, after several days of complaints, Microsoft pulled the patches from some AMD systems and acknowledged that they had been causing issues.

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With Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance. "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", Microsoft said in a statement. To get your affected PC back to a bootable state, you will have to visit Microsoft's support site for fixes.

The slowdown particularly affects Intel chips vulnerable to Meltdown. As Microsoft stated, he can quickly jump from one browser tab to another and discover the victim's purpose.

Spectre is a flaw in the way computers handle requests to look at sensitive information stored on low levels of memory.

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Last year, Google in cooperation with university researchers identified a large security vulnerability with designs commonly employed to improve microprocessor performance.

Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann said Nvidia's driver updates could become a problem for data centres and lead corporate customers to hold off on buying servers which have GPUs.

"This means the typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns in common tasks such as reading email, writing a document or accessing digital photos", Intel said in its update.

Nvidia updates software, says graphic chips not hit by flaws
Meanwhile, AMD has finally admitted that the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws found by Google Project Zero affect its chips. Because the flaw is in the processor architecture, a permanent solution will require a fix in future chip designs.

This topic is of much interest to the operators of big data centers which could see a significant increase in costs if their computers begin to slow down. AMD has followed suit and the company is now issuing firmware updates for its own chips.

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