Intel Identifies Meltdown-Patch Reboot Problems in Broadwell and Haswell Chips


More than six months after Google informed Intel that almost all the computers on the planet released in the last 20 years have security holes thanks to a chip design flaw, Intel seems no closer to completely addressing the Meltdown and Spectre issues than it did when it first went public with the news in early January.

Intel recently promised that all of its processors from the past five years would be protected against the Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities by the end of January, and this is proving to be more hard than expected.

The firm now working on a patch that plugs the security hole, without causing users' PCs to randomly shut down. Intel has been researching the problem and has a solution just about ready to deploy.

Intel previously acknowledged that the software patch it issued appeared to be causing some customers' computers to reboot more frequently than normal. "The security of our products is critical for Intel, our customers and partners, and for me, personally".

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Intel Corp has asked computer makers to stop rolling out a set of faulty patches it issued to fix security flaws in its chips and instead start testing an updated version. "I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues", added Shenoy. Spectre affected almost every modern computing device, including those with chips from those companies and Advanced Micro Devices.

Those patches, however, have only dug Intel into a deeper hole. Intel chips are particularly vulnerable to the Meltdown attack.

The guidance applies to at least some of the processors from Intel's last several generations of chips, with affected models in the Broadwell, Haswell, Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Ivy Bridge families. The progress we have made in identifying a root cause for Haswell and Broadwell will help us address issues on other platforms. But when carrying out some more intensive tasks, like browsing the internet on multiple tabs, users could see slowdowns closer to 12 percent on computers running with patched chips, Intel found.