Intel Continues To Struggle Delivering Stable Spectre And Meltdown Fixes

Intel has issued new advice telling customers running certain CPUs to hold back on installing patches for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. With some customers reporting system instability after installing previous fixes, the company is scrambling to deliver reliable patches.

New advice released today tells users who have CPUs on devices from the Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, Skylake, Broadwell, Haswell, Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge families to hold back.

Spectre and Meltdown have proven to be a very challenging set of problems to solve. Google seems to have done a reasonable job fixing the problems on their own systems with very limited impact.

Patches are being developed by Intel and then pushed out to their OEM partners who then send these out to end-user customers as BIOS updates or operating system patches depending on which of the three issues, that are collectively known as Spectre and Meltdown, they fix.

With Apple having their own remediation in progress, to fix the same issues on their home-grown processors for iOS devices, and AMD also caught up in this (although to a much lesser extent than Intel) this issue is one of the most pervasive and difficult to remedy vulnerabilities I can recall. It’s likely this will continue to be a challenge for a few more weeks or months.

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