New Spectre and Meltdown patches cause reboot issues

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A firestorm of criticism has erupted over the response to the chip flaws, which researchers at Google's Project Zero discovered in 2016.

"While Meltdown and Spectre were disclosed about six months ago, the reboot issues may not have been caught in earlier testing because the environmental variables in the testing environment don't match the environment that the few customers that experienced the issue had", Jett told SearchSecurity. Further, the security patches released in recent days have been blamed for performance problems, including slowdowns in many systems. "These are non-trivial changes to make and small differences in systems can make a world of difference".

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities refer to a flaw in the design of many server processors could potentially allow unauthorised users to either read the kernel memory from the user space memory or to read the contents of memory from other running programs.

The seventh-generation Kaby Lake platforms would experience a 7 percent reduction, and the impact on the sixth-generation Skylake platforms would be slightly higher at 8 percent. But Spectre attacks could use your PC's software to exploit the processor flaws. The complaint cited reports that Intel had been warned of the problem.

"In September, we began deploying solutions for both Variants 1 and 3 to the production infrastructure that underpins all Google products - from Cloud services to Gmail, Search and Drive - and more-refined solutions in October", Google writes.

While AMD confirmed that the Branch Target Injection is also applicable to its CPUs, the company clarified that the architecture of its chips will "make it hard to exploit".

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Apple has confirmed that Meltdown and Spectre bugs impact the performance of all Apple products and these include the iPhones.

"End-users should continue to apply updates recommended by their system and operating system providers", he added.

Companies like Microsoft and Google have already started sending out the patches to minimise the effects of these bugs. The bug is said to primarily affect Intel processors manufactured after 1995.

Microsoft needed to temporarily suspend issuing security updates recently, especially for those with AMD chips, after it found that these patches were not compatible with antivirus software that kept affected computers from restarting after patch installation. In the wrong hands, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs can be used to steal data from any protected application on a machine, including password managers and browsers.

To find out details for your particular system, Graz University of Technology's "Meltdown and Spectre" site at https://meltdownattack.com has an extensive collection of links to information about patches from most major hardware and software makers, including several Linux companies.

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