Intel CEO pledges "security first" following Meltdown and Spectre security issues


"We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates", Intel said on Thursday. It's worth noting that only select devices with AMD chips are getting this months' security update for now, and the update will not cause boot issues.

In the fallout of the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown, companies have been racing to patch vulnerabilities.

While Intel is at the center of the Spectre/Meltdown fiasco, AMD's chips are also affected by the CPU vulnerabilities.

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The hardware vendor said these systems are both home computers and data center servers. "We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue", Intel said. Google says Spectre and Meltdown "represent a new class of attack" and that "they're just a few among the many different types of threats our infrastructure is created to defend against every day". We will then focus on issuing updates for older products as prioritised by our customers.

In the most basic terms, Williams explained, vulnerable processors are like an old, broken bridge.

However, Sloss also said that Google discovered that patching the most severe vulnerabilities would result in significant system slowdowns on the Google Cloud Platform and services. The company believes this issue can be solved with operating system patches.

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The patching process is putting customers in a hard position: Should they update now, and take a potential performance hit?

Intel has released an update addressing the patches the company has issued to resolve recently-revealed, massive CPU security flaws, and the performance hits (and other quirks) users are experiencing in the wake of the updates.

Given Nvidia shares GPU architecture across all its graphics tech, from GeForce gaming cards to enterprise-grade Quadro and Tesla chips, it seems a whole host of Nvidia kit is affected by Spectre. "If the question becomes, 'Is [the pledge] valuable or just brand management?' the answer has to be that it's both", Wenzler told SearchSecurity. "Hopefully, this nudges Intel back to a place where security is truly part and parcel of all their chip designs in all cases".

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Williams expects security experts to double down on this field of research.