Intel's Faulty Meltdown and Spectre Patches Are Causing More Reboot Issues In Newer Chips


Intel said on Wednesday evening that recently-issued patches for the Spectre and Meltdown exploits are creating reboot issues for its newer Kaby Lake and Skylake chips.

The statement comes days after Intel acknowledged that some companies are reporting reboot issues with older chips for both client compute and data center, like Broadwell and Haswell CPUs, after they patched their devices.

Now, the chip company is acknowledging that newer chips, including Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake, are also facing the same reboot issues after they were patched.

[Related: Spectre, Meltdown Update: VMware Retracts Faulty Intel Firmware Patches For Chip Vulnerabilities]

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"While the firmware updates are effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues, customers have reported more frequent reboots on firmware updated systems,"said Navin Shenoy, general manager of the company’s data center group, in a statement on Intel’s website.

The patches come as Intel deals with the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, which were revealed two weeks ago and affected chips from multiple vendors. The exploits, which account for three variants of a side-channel analysis security issue in server and PC processors, could potentially enable hackers to access protected data. Intel said it has now updated 90 percent of affected Intel CPUs introduced within the past five years.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it would provide a beta microcode to vendors for validation in the next week.

But vendors, meanwhile, are trying to grapple with the fallout of the new reboot issues caused by recently implemented patches. On Monday, for instance, VMware rolled back Intel's patching recommendation for its products after pushing the microcode upgrades for its hardware.

Channel partners are keeping their ears to the ground waiting for more information that will help them work with customers to take the appropriate steps as they deal with the Spectre and Meltdown flaws.

"Most users are going to hear things like security flaw, or performance issues and be very concerned so I would really like to see Intel do more to address those topics," said one partner, who wished to remain anonymous.

Moving forward, Intel said that it has reproduced the issues internally and is working to identify the cause.