Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Intel deploys Spectre mitigations for newer processors to OEMS and partners

Intel deploys Spectre mitigations for newer processors to OEMS and partners

The updates also cover Intel's most recent Core X-series chips, along with the latest Xeon Scalable and Xeon D data centre processors.

In the same manner, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation of chips namely Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell Core and Broadwell family of chips are next in line to get similar patches.

The new microcode update includes a mitigation technique called "Retpoline" for Spectre variant 2 (Branch Target Injection).

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The microcode updates have been shipped to Intel's hardware partners, some of which have already begun passing them along to customers.

The aforementioned shareholder complaint seeks damages on behalf of anyone who bought AMD shares in the year leading to January 11, 2018, the date AMD admitted its processors were vulnerable to both variants of the Spectre attacks.

The patch, described technically as a "microcode update", is being offered to original equipment manufacturers and partners for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake-based platforms, along with Skylake-based platforms.

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Users with Broadwell and Haswell processors in their machines have still not received a patch to protect them from Spectre and the chipmaker has claimed that microcode updates are now in the beta stage for Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Broadwell and Haswell processors.

However, the first tranche of patches are intended only for its latest CPUs: 6th, 7th and 8th-generation microprocessors codenamed Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake respectively. The said update is now in beta stages and will eventually be released post verification and testing process. All of these are in the beta stage of development, the roadmap says, with no public timetable for completion.The first-generation Core chips, code-named Arrandale and Clarkdale, are in pre-beta status.

What should I do?

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The above would be in the form of a BIOS update which the user would be prompted to download and install on their devices. Though there haven't been any widespread attacks targeting the vulnerabilities, there could be.

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