Monday, 19 February, 2018

Microsoft issues new update to negate issues from Intel's Spectre fixes

Root Cause of Reboot Issue Identified; Updated Guidance for Customers and Partners - Intel Newsroom Intel Plans To Have Spectre & Meltdown-Proof CPUs This Year
| 30 January, 2018, 01:58

On the official patch notes, Microsoft informs that the decision to deploy KB4078130 was taken following Intel's recommendations. The agency initially advised that the Spectre flaw could only be addressed by swapping out for an unaffected processor before revising its position to advise that applying vendor-supplied patches offered sufficient mitigation.

Microsoft has released an out-of-band Windows update that disables Intel's fix. Intel noted that in some situations this reboot could case data loss or corruption. In our testing this update has been found to prevent the behavior described.

Now, with KB4078130, Microsoft has provided a way to disable the Specter update and fix the reboot issue.

The Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws were first identified by a member of Google's Project Zero security team shortly before they were independently uncovered and reported by other teams of security researchers.

"After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown", the company said at the time.

After chipmaker Intel a potential security flaw in its chips, Microsoft issued emergency updates to supported versions of Windows earlier this month.


'Our own experience is that system instability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption.

As stated by Microsoft, the mitigation system update will deactivate CVE 2017-5715, and the inevitable result is some form of vulnerability.

"According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel initially told a handful of customers about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, including Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Lenovo, before the US government". Microsoft's patches are created to resolve problems in machines that have already received the Intel patch and to prevent unpatched devices from installing Intel's patch.

Notwithstanding the availability of immediate solutions to Spectre and Meltdown, security experts have scored what they termed as mishandling of the whole affair.

The company added that so far there have been no reports of attacks exploiting the Spectre v2 CPU flaw, but it recommends its customers to re-enable the mitigation when Intel reports that the rebooting issues have been solved for your particular devices.

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