Intel says the unexpected reboots triggered by patching older chips affected by Meltdown and Spectre are happening to its newer chips, too.
Intel confirmed in an update late Wednesday that not only are its older Broadwell and Haswell chips tripping up on the firmware patches, but newer CPUs through to the latest Kaby Lake chips are too.
The firmware updates do protect Intel chips against potential Spectre attacks, but machines with Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake architecture processors are rebooting more frequently once the firmware has been updated, Intel said.
Intel has also updated its original Meltdown-Spectre advisory with a new warning about the stability issues and recommends OEMs and cloud providers test its beta silicon microcode updates before final release. These beta releases, which mitigate the Spectre Variant 2 CVE-2017-5715 attack on CPU speculative execution, will be available next week.
“Intel recommends that these partners, at their discretion, continue development and release of updates with existing microcode to provide protection against these exploits, understanding that the current versions may introduce issues such as reboot in some configurations,” the company wrote.
“We further recommend that OEMs, Cloud service providers, system manufacturers and software vendors begin evaluation of Intel beta microcode update releases in anticipation of definitive root cause and subsequent production releases suitable for end users”.
Despite the stability issues, Intel has told OEMs not to withdraw the already released updates for end users.
However, it warned IT admins at datacenters to proceed with caution: “Evaluate potential impacts from the reboot issue and make decisions based on the security profile of the infrastructure”.
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