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Intel confirms that their Spectre Patch has problems - new updates incoming

Intel is starting to issue new firmware updates

Intel admits that Haswell and Broadwell users suffer reboot issues after security firmware updates

Intel confirms that their Spectre Patch has problems - new updates incoming

Intel's response to Spectre and Meltdown has been far from perfect, with the company refusing to acknowledge that they are the worst affected by this series of exploits, most notably Meltdown. While Intel has been quick to release firmware fixes, it is clear that Intel's latest firmware has been rushed, causing "higher level reboots" on Haswell and Broadwell based systems, a severe issue for data center users. 

The company has now confirmed that they have found the root cause of Haswell/Broadwell's reboot issues and have started releasing early versions of their fix, recommending that users stop deploying Intel's existing Spectre-fixing firmware updates (on affected platforms), a significant U-turn for the company.    

Intel first reported this issue on January 11th, advising that clients update their firmware despite these reported problems. This advice has had customers installing buggy firmware on their systems for eleven days after Intel became aware of the issue, recommending an action that they knew could cause reboot issues on critical systems. 

Below is an update from Navin Shenoy, Intel's executive vice president and general manager of their Data Center Group.   

     As we start the week, I want to provide an update on the reboot issues we reported Jan. 11. We have now identified the root cause for Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress in developing a solution to address it. Over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed.

Based on this, we are updating our guidance for customers and partners:

- We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior. For the full list of platforms, see the Intel.com Security Center site.

- We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release. We expect to share more details on timing later this week.


- We continue to urge all customers to vigilantly maintain security best practice and for consumers to keep systems up-to-date.


I apologize for any disruption this change in guidance may cause. The security of our products is critical for Intel, our customers and partners, and for me, personally. I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues.

I will keep you updated as we learn more and thank you for your patience.

 

These Haswell/Broadwell firmware issues are expected to delay the release of updated X99 and other firmware on the consumer market, at least until these issues are resolved. We are currently awaiting a firmware fix for our ASUS ROG X99 Strix to test the performance impact of firmware-level Spectre fixes on the platform.  
   

Intel admits that Haswell and Broadwell users suffer reboot issues after security firmware updates

 

If there are two things that the server/enterprise market doesn't like it is security and reliability issues. Thanks to the announcement of Spectre and Meltdown many service providers are currently undergoing unscheduled maintenance, with firmware updates causing reliability concerns pouring more salt into this fresh wound. 

Spectre and Meltdown have already shaken the world's confidence in Intel, with these firmware issues only deepening the cracks in Intel's record. It is likely that more customers will consider alternatives to Intel in the future because of these problems, giving AMD and ARM a huge opportunity to gain traction within the enterprise market. 

You can join the discussion on Intel's Spectre firmware having reliability problems on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

23-01-2018, 05:54:22

AlienALX
Oh god no. My PC has been acting so strangely lately. Programs refused to run after the patch and I had to uninstall them and find alternatives. I had it BSOD on me once, then refuse to start (well, boot into Windows) and etc. Last thing I need are more bloody patches causing more sodding issues.Quote

23-01-2018, 05:56:44

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
Oh god no. My PC has been acting so strangely lately. Programs refused to run after the patch and I had to uninstall them and find alternatives. I had it BSOD on me once, then refuse to start (well, boot into Windows) and etc. Last thing I need are more bloody patches causing more sodding issues.
These issues are due to firmware updates, not patches. Not that many consumer motherboards have BIOS updates yet, aside from Skylake or newer platforms.Quote

23-01-2018, 05:59:19

AlienALX
Quote:
Originally Posted by WYP View Post
These issues are due to firmware updates, not patches. Not that many consumer motherboards have BIOS updates yet, aside from Skylake or newer platforms.
I've not flashed the bios. I've had my rig running since last July. I've never had as single issue with it. Until the patches rolled out last week. Coincidence? not really.

It could have been the meltdown patch causing those issues. In fact, that may explain why apps just died and refused to run. Maybe they were using certain paths to the CPU.

God knows, but I'm not really in any mood for any more of it. Last time I checked I was still vulnerable to Spectre.Quote

23-01-2018, 10:28:15

Darkdayzzz
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
I've not flashed the bios. I've had my rig running since last July. I've never had as single issue with it. Until the patches rolled out last week. Coincidence? not really.

It could have been the meltdown patch causing those issues. In fact, that may explain why apps just died and refused to run. Maybe they were using certain paths to the CPU.

God knows, but I'm not really in any mood for any more of it. Last time I checked I was still vulnerable to Spectre.
AlienALX - what OS of windows are you running?

If its win10 pro (since you can stop updates in the other windows easily lol) I can tell you what to change within GPEDIT (group policy editor) to stop Windows10 from updating at all, no more forced updates. And this is also do-able on Windows10 home as well I just need to remember how to add GPEDIT into it.

Let me know, happy to help if I can. To be fair - meltdown and spectre will need a very skilled person or group to even use them and then if they know how to use them they certainly won't be going after a normal person like you or me (typically).Quote

23-01-2018, 10:47:01

AlienALX
Yes it's Win 10 pro. I don't want to change anything on the PC if it works.. However, I am upgrading another PC and will not care so much about that one as it won't have any payment stuff stored on it etc.

So cheers for that, will hit you up in a couple of weeks Quote
Reply
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