Intel: Don't Deploy Our Faulty Spectre Patches

Linus Torvalds Intel's Spectre and Meltdown patches are

"We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release", Navin Shenoy, general manager of Intel's data centre group, said in a posting on the company's website.

At the issue's outbreak, Intel advised hardware partners to stop issuing updates for unpatched devices, but not to recall the updates they had already issued.

"We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors, and end users stop deployment of current versions on specific platforms", Intel EVP Neil Shenoy writes, "as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior".

Intel is now telling customers to forgo installing the Spectre and Meltdown patches due to lingering issues that it has confirmed with customers, and identified in its own testing. Now, Intel seems to be giving up on those patches entirely.

Intel has a patching problem. But the impact to older CPUs is known to be harder than on newer chips, and we're still waiting for patches to roll out for the major variants (there are three subtypes of Meltdown and Spectre attacks as of this writing) and to see how users are going to be impacted in common workloads. Once that testing wraps up, the update will be made available for everyone. However, until then, Intel is changing their tune in terms of updating.

One partner, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the channel's role is the talk with impacted customers and help them understand what steps are necessary for dealing with the Spectre and Meltdown exploits. If your processor is not on the reboot issue list however, Intel still suggests to "vigilantly maintain security best practice" and keep systems up-to-date.

Intel first acknowledged the problem more than a week ago, saying chips in the company's lines called Broadwell and Haswell were causing problems after receiving updates.

Last week, Intel said the problem also affected its most recent Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors.

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