Intel Details Spectre, Meltdown Fixes; Future CPU Plans

Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 02:03 PM gHale

Intel patches fixing the Spectre vulnerability are now available for all the affected CPUs released in the past five years.

Intel also gave some details on future processors protecting against these types of attacks.

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Intel Issues More Spectre Microcode Updates

The company has made available microcode updates for all of the processors vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre attacks, said Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich.

The company first released new firmware updates for its Skylake processors, then for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake, and later for Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. The fixes will be delivered by device manufacturers, but Microsoft has also started providing the microcode patches for Windows 10 devices with Skylake, Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake processors.

In late January, Krzanich said the company started working on processors with built-in protections for attacks similar to Meltdown and Spectre.

Meltdown attacks rely on a vulnerability identified as CVE-2017-5754, while Spectre attacks are possible due to CVE-2017-5753 (Variant 1) and CVE-2017-5715 (Variant 2). Meltdown and Variant 1 can be addressed with software patches, but Variant 2 also requires microcode updates.

Intel’s new CPUs, both for data centers and PCs, will be redesigned to protect against Meltdown and Spectre Variant 2.



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