AMD Will Release CPU Microcode Updates for Spectre Flaw This Week

AMD Will Release CPU Microcode Updates for Spectre Flaw This Week

Lindsey Duncan
January 14, 2018

"We have defined additional steps through a combination of processor microcode updates and OS patches that we will make available to AMD customers and partners to further mitigate the threat".

Be warned: Intel's recent maintenance update - created to address the terrifying Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities - could affect the performance of some of its older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs.

Customers have complained to the company about a higher than usual level of system reboots following installation of the patches. The Spectre bug uses what's known as speculative execution, wherein a processor tries to figure out multiple paths that a running program now in the processor cache may take, and predictively loads in what it thinks will be the next line of code. Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center.

Starting off, Krzanich says that "90% of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years" will have mitigation patches in place for the security flaws by January 15.

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However, in the meantime, Intel is warning customers to hold off on installing the patches, according to e-mail acquired by The Wall Street Journal.

In a on Intel's website, Navin Shenoy, general manager of the company's data centre group, said Intel had received reports about the issue and was working directly with data centre customers to "discuss" the issue.

"We are working closely with them to correct an issue that paused the distribution of patches for some older AMD processors (AMD Opteron, Athlon and AMD Turion X2 Ultra families) earlier this week", Papermaster wrote". "End-users should continue to apply updates recommended by their system and operating system providers".

Hackers may exploit the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities to steal sensitive data stored in computers and mobile devices through a side-channel analysis attack.