Science

Microsoft Disables Spectre Variant 2 Patch Via Unscheduled Update

Microsoft Disables Spectre Variant 2 Patch Via Unscheduled Update

An Intel spokesperson said that the company was unable to notify others, including the United States government, as the bugs were made public earlier than the decided date which was January 9. It is unlikely anything disgusting has happened on a widespread basis because of this flaw and the playing field is now level again; however this remains a great example of how not to deal with the discovery of a major architectural flaw which continues to cause grave security concerns globally.

The update is now offered only as an out-of-band update that must be manually downloaded and installed, and it has no effect other than to disable the use of this particular Spectre mitigation. Some of the companies whom Intel informed involved Chinese technology companies, though the report indicates no evidence of misusing any information.

Intel even warned users against downloading its own patch, with Intel EVP Neil Shenoy saying that "we recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors, and end users stop deployment of current versions on specific platforms, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior".

Microsoft is releasing another out of band emergency patch to Windows users.

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".

Intel has been making headlines as a chipset flaw named as Meltdown and Spectre have been creating major security issues on all computer platforms including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

An official at the Department of Homeland Security said that the staffers learned of the flaws on January 3 from news reports and not from Intel in advance, explaining the hastily-provided mitigation for the problem.

It's the latest development in the rocky recovery process from the design flaw called Spectre. Thus, those microcode fixes (and the related MS update KB4056892) can stay. "Over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed", Navin Shenoy added.

In such a situation, it is OK for a company to reach out to customers first so that they're able to develop patches and mitigate security concerns as quickly as possible before the news goes public. An Intel spokesman didn't reveal details about the warnings but stated that the company couldn't notify everyone due to the earlier revealed of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

In a statement, an Intel spokesperson said the company "followed best practices of responsible and coordinated disclosure".


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