Intel Releases Spectre Patches for Skylake


The patch addresses only one Spectre vulnerability.

Intel has released another round of patches to fix some of the Spectre vulnerabilities. The new release is available only for Skylake chips and address one of the two Spectre vulnerabilities.

According to the Hacker News, "So far, the new microcode update only addresses devices equipped with mobile Skylake and mainstream desktop Skylake chips, leaving the Broadwell, Haswell, Kaby Lake, Skylake X, Skylake SP, and Coffee Lake processors still vulnerable to the Spectre (Variant 2) vulnerability."

"We also continue to release beta microcode updates so that customers and partners have the opportunity to conduct extensive testing before we move them into production," Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel Corporation, wrote in a blog post.

There are two known Spectre vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715) and one Meltdown vulnerability (CVE-2017-5754).

After the public disclosure of the vulnerabilities by Google researchers in January 2018, Intel started releasing microcode patches for these vulnerabilities. However those patches did more harm than good. Red Hat had to roll back patches as it was breaking enterprise systems. Linux creator Linus Torvalds called those patches garbage.

Intel eventually stopped those patches and asked users not to install those patches and wait for the next round. Intel got flack for the slow response as they had known about the vulnerabilities since June of 2017.

As important as it is for Intel to release these patches, what’s even more important is that these patches are implemented. "I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is for everyone to always keep their systems up-to-date," Shenoy said. “Research tells us there is frequently a substantial lag between when people receive updates and when they actually implement them.”

Keep an eye on patches and update them as soon as they are available.

Intel Releases Spectre Patches for Skylake

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