Microsoft disables Spectre patch after bugs reported

Intel told Chinese companies about chip flaw before notifying US gov: report

"After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown", the company said at the time. Microsoft told ZDNet it's now waiting for Intel to release the fixed firmware version after determining "system stability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption". The update does leave the fixes for the two other vulnerabilities that make up the Meltdown and Spectre attacks while removing the buggy code that caused stability issues with Spectre Variant 2.

"While Intel tests, updates and deploys new microcode, we are making available an out of band update today, KB4078130, that specifically disables only the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715 - 'Branch target injection vulnerability".

Along with the turn-it-off update, Microsoft also published instructions for manually disabling the defenses against the pertinent Spectre vulnerability. READ NEXT:Report: Microsoft building new "modern" Windows 10 version For PC users, this is likely to confuse the situation around Meltdown and Spectre even further.

For now, the KB4078130 security update is only available to download from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

According to Jake Williams, head of security at Rendition Infosec, it's likely that the Chinese government had the information about the flaws from the Intel since most Chinese companies keep abreast with the trends in the communications.

Since then, some updates to chips made by Intel and AMD were later revealed to cause their own problems.

An Intel spokesperson didn't detail who the company reached out to first, but did say that it wasn't able to notify everyone (which includes USA officials) in time because both Spectre and Meltdown were revealed early.

Claims that some Chinese companies may have had knowledge about security flaws in Intel chips before the USA government is "troublesome", said Republican Congressman Gregory Walden. (That's the type of vulnerability that applies to Spectre and Meltdown.) That's KB4073119, and it outlines PowerShell scripts to check vulnerability protections, and registry tweaks to enable or disable them.

A five-page guide from Intel, most recently updated Thursday, details which firmware should be avoided and for which specific processors.

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