More misery for Intel as firm says patches to solve its chip ‘design flaws’ have errors that could cause some systems to randomly reboot

Friday, January 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

Intel issued updates to fix hardware issues that left billions vulnerable to hacks
The patches themselves appear to contain a bug that causes machines to restart
The problem affects Haswell and Broadwell chips created in 2013 and 2014
Intel says it received reports about the issue and is working with customers

12 January 2018

Users of millions of devices fitted with Intel chips are faced with a dilemma, whether to plug a security hole and face reboot issues or to leave themselves vulnerable.

Updates designed to fix the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre bugs may lead to system restarts in certain older models of CPU, an executive at the firm confirmed.

That means the microprocessor manufacturer may be forced to issue a patch for its patch, to correct the problem.

The security fixes could cause computers using its older Haswell and Broadwell processors, created in 2013 and 2014, to reboot more often than normal.

Intel says it has received reports about the issue and was working directly with customers to ‘discuss’ the issue.

Intel may need to issue updates to fix the buggy patches.

The Santa Clara firm has asked its cloud computing customers to hold off installing the updates, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal.

In a statement on Intel’s website, Navin Shenoy, general manager of the company’s data center group, said: ‘We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates.

‘Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center.

‘We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue.

”End-users should continue to apply updates recommended by their system and operating system providers.

Security researchers at Google’s Project Zero computer security analysis team, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, exposed the two flaws last week.

Meltdown, which is specific to Intel chips, lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s memory, potentially letting hackers read a computer’s memory.

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