Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patches are causing reboot issues in older chips

An Update on AMD Processor Security | AMD

Meltdown and Spectre chip flaw timeline

The flaws, which affect chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, allow hackers to read a computer's memory and steal passwords, putting virtually all phones, computers and servers at risk. It closes today's blog post by stating its belief that Reptoline is currently the best solution for patching against Variant 2, so hopefully now that Google has made it available to its industry partners, we'll see wide-scale roll out.

AMD still maintains that its processors are not vulnerable to the GPZ Variant 3 exploit (Meltdown, Rogue Data Cache Load) and that no updates are needed to protect systems from it.

Google recently detailed its response to the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws. This is by design to protect critical security information like usernames, passwords and encryption keys.

As Google so aptly pointed out, these vulnerabilities have been in place inside modern chips for 20 years. Devices using the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H mobile processors will be around 7% slower, while the performance impact on systems with the 6th Gen Skylake-S platform is estimated to be around 8%. Still, in their words, "No GCP customer or internal team has reported any performance degradation".

Turkey Warns Its Citizens Against US Travel Over Security
The warning from Turkish officials comes shortly after U.S. officials issued a similar statement regarding travel to Turkey. It added that the New York City subway pipe bomb attack in December was "an example of far-right/racist incidents".

The real headache for Google turned out to be Spectre Variant 2.

"But then it hit a breakthrough: "Retpoline" - a novel software binary modification technique that prevents branch-target-injection, created by Paul Turner, a software engineer who is part of our Technical Infrastructure group". "Furthermore, testing this feature, particularly when combined with optimisations such as software branch prediction hints, demonstrated that this protection came with nearly no performance loss".

"Because the chips can no longer be trusted to perform one of the critical jobs [for which] they were being relied upon, software is taking the strain and inevitably that means that things will take longer". On Windows 7 with 6th gen chips the decline is comparable to newer chips on Windows 10. The remaining Chromebook which haven't been patched but also haven't reached their end of life status are simply waiting on pending back ports so the patches are coming they just haven't been completed and pushed out to users yet. The fact they shared the solution publicly could be a big win for the industry at large.

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