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Intel Apparently Not Patching Some Old CPUs for Spectre V2 Protection

Category: CPU's
Posted: 04:00PM
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After their public reveals in January, a number of companies, including Intel, have been working on mitigations and protections against the Meltdown and two Spectre vulnerabilities. All three attacks take advantage of how a performance improving feature built into CPUs work but there are software and firmware solutions to at least reduce the vulnerability to these attacks, if not completely stop such attacks. While Intel has already release microcode updates for a number of its processors, it looks like some of its older chips will not be seeing these updates. The good news is the newest of these processors went on sale in 2011, so it is only older systems that will not receive these updates.

It is only protection against the Spectre Variant 2 attack that has been stopped, and only for chips in the Bloomfield Xeon, Clarksfield, Gulftown, and Yorkfield families. The reasons giving for these stops include it being impractical to implement these changes due to micro-architectural characteristics, limited ecosystem support, and that many customers use these machines in a closed system, making it less likely for them to be exposed to a threat. However, there are microcode updates for Spectre v1 and Meltdown, and Meltdown was a very serious threat given the ease with which it could be exploited.

Source: The Inquirer



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