Microsoft Releases Updates To Mitigate Intel's Flawed Chip Fixes

Audrey Hill
January 30, 2018

"According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel initially told a handful of customers about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, including Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Lenovo, before the us government". Since the reboot issues on PCs powered by Intel triggered a negative reaction from the rest of the industry, Microsoft and Intel are releasing updates to rollback the Spectre Variant 2 security patch. Intel's update that was meant to make your device more secure is resulting in unexpected reboots and more alarming, data loss or corruption.

While Intel Corp has confirmed two security flaws - "Meltdown and "Spectre" - in its chips that were vulnerable to hacking the company's CEO Brian Krzanich has allayed fears of any data breach".

Microsoft's move follows Intel last week warning users that numerous firmware updates it had released for Spectre were causing instability problems - including frequent rebooting. Big names like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft were ready relatively quickly, but most everyone else was left racing to fix or mitigate the flaws.

Intel notified Chinese companies about security flaws in its processor chips, according to some sources. "We understand that Intel is continuing to investigate the potential impact of the current microcode version ..."

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Today's update i.e KB4078130 is available for all supported versions of Windows operating system and it can be only downloaded from Microsoft's Update Catalog. With both hardware vendors struggling to develop reliable updates, Microsoft has been forced to take the unprecedented step of issuing multiple emergency Windows patches in an attempt to contain the disruption to end users. Windows 7 Service Pack 1Windows 8.1Windows 10 and more.

The Chinese Government monitor these conversations and could potentially have exploited these security flaws.

Detailed at this link, Microsoft's patch KB4078130 will disable Intel's mitigation against Spectre variant 2. Many different generations of Intel chips were suffering such problems, including its latest processors, codenamed Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, Kaby Lake, Broadwell and Haswell. (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. Earlier reports claimed Intel is having being warned of the flaws by Google late previous year itself though it came to be known to all in early January.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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