Intel is still working on shutting down the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in its processors that were uncovered in January.
Navin Shenoy, executive vice-president and GM of the data centre group at Intel, says the company identified the root cause of a reboot issue affecting the Broadwell and Haswell microcode updates on 22 January. “Since then, we’ve been focused on developing and validating updated microcode solutions for those and other impacted platforms.
“Earlier this week, we released production microcode updates for several Skylake-based platforms to our OEM customers and industry partners, and we expect to do the same for more platforms in the coming days,” Shenoy adds.
“We also continue to release beta microcode updates so that customers and partners have the opportunity to conduct extensive testing before we move them into production.”
He explains that the updates will ultimately be made available through OEM firmware updates.
“I can’t emphasise enough how critical it is for everyone to always keep their systems up-to-date,” he adds. “Research tells us there is frequently a substantial lag between when people receive updates and when they actually implement them. In today’s environment, that must change.
“According to the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber-emergency unit, US-CERT, as many as 85% of all targeted attacks can be prevented with — among other things — regular system updates.
“This is especially top-of-mind because new categories of security exploits often follow a similar lifecycle. This lifecycle tends to include new derivatives of the original exploit as security researchers — or bad actors — direct their time and energy at it.
“We expect this new category of side channel exploits to be no different. We will, of course, work closely with the industry to address these situations if and when they arise, but it again underscores the importance of regular system updates, now and in the future.”