Chinese companies learned of Intel chip flaws before United States government

Spectre hardware fix Intel Spectre Variant 2

Spectre hardware fix Intel Spectre Variant 2

An emergency Windows update has been released by Microsoft that disables Intel's problematic microcode fix for Spectre Variant 2 that was known to lead to frequent reboots and stability issues.

As has been revealed in a new report, Intel had first got in touch with Lenovo and Alibaba of the flaw in its chips and the potential security risk it poses. Intel called a halt to installations of the patch one week ago, but Microsoft's new update goes a step further and disables the patches on any computers that already had them installed.

"We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates", an Intel advisory notes.

Intel also released its own patches, but its fix for the Spectre flaws was found to be buggy, with the firmware update potentially leading to "data loss or corruption". In the interim, Microsoft has issued its own patch to disable the fix, which targets the second variant of the Spectre bug, which allows for "Branch Target Injection". The company warned users last week that its Spectre fixes have been causing problems such as random reboots, they also warned users that the fixes may also cause "Data loss or corruption".

An official at the Department of Homeland Security said that the staffers learned of the flaws on January 3 from news reports and not from Intel in advance, explaining the hastily-provided mitigation for the problem.

Apple announced when they will start to sell HomePod
This means users will be forced to pay a monthly fee for Apple Music if they want to listen to music on the speaker. It sounds fantastic on its own, and even better when compared to other high-end smart speakers on the market.

For Intel, "America First" might not have applied to whom it told first when it discovered the now-infamous chip flaws that have been dubbed Spectre and Meltdown.

While the Spectre Variant 2 vulnerability has the potential to cause some damage if exploited by enterprising hackers, there are now no known reports of any users impacted by the attack.

The best way to protect your devices and your data is to stay up to date with security updates.

Intel CEO Bryan Kraznich recently said the chipmaker is working on a new design for processors that would incorporate "silicon-based changes" to mitigate the threat posed by the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

Because they had early warning, Microsoft, Google and Amazon were able to roll out protections for their cloud-computing customers before details of Meltdown and Spectre became public. If you're experiencing the problem you'll need to download the update, as it won't yet install automatically.

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