Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Intel's Latest Spectre Update Resolves Reboots On Haswell And Broadwell Systems

Intel's Latest Spectre Update Resolves Reboots On Haswell And Broadwell Systems

Microsoft has stated that it will add other Intel firmware updates to Windows Update as they are made available to it from Intel.

"Microsoft continues to work diligently with our industry partners to address the Spectre and Meltdown hardware-based vulnerabilities".

Microsoft is today releasing KB4090007 for Windows 10 devices running the Fall Creators Update (version 1709), and this update is only for the devices with Intel Skylake.

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As you might remember, users encountered problems with the implementation of the initial Microsoft Meltdown and Spectre patches in early January: those who had incompatible antivirus software had not been offered the security update. "We will offer additional microcode updates from Intel through this KB Article for these Operating Systems as they become available to Microsoft", the company noted, and added that they are "not aware of any issues that affect this update now".

Since these microcode updates aren't being shipped through Windows Update, they need to be downloaded manually from the Microsoft Update Catalog. According to the support document pertaining to KB4090007, the patch will target the Skylake H and S processors for notebooks and desktops, along with power-sipping Intel Core m processors, Skylake U/Y and U23e chips.

"While firmware (microcode) security updates are not yet broadly available, Intel recently announced that they have completed their validations and started to release microcode for newer CPU platforms", wrote John Cable, director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, at Microsoft in a March 1 blog post. Because of this, you'll want to make sure that your AV software is up to date. The update package is for Intel Skylake CPU owners only. Microsoft had previously also released a free tool for enterprises to better assess Meltdown and Spectre update status with device-level insights.

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What this means to you: If you've built a PC using parts from a smaller vendor, patches and other firmware updates might be slow to arrive. Microsoft says that it's been working closely working with anti-virus partners to improve compatibility, specifically by reducing unsupported memory calls into the Windows Kernel. We recommend users check with their AV provider on compatibility of their installed AV software products.

Keeping an incompatible third-party antivirus app installed on your Windows 10 computer isn't worth preventing Spectre and Meltdown updates.

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