According to Shenoy, Intel will most likely be pushing out revised firmware (sans unexpected rebooting) through its "normal channels", and is in direct contact with its data center customers regarding the issue.
Fixes for the recently-disclosed Spectre and Meltdown flaws are causing performance slowdowns and random reboots, but the cloud may be immune to these side effects. Google says Spectre and Meltdown "represent a new class of attack" and that "they're just a few among the many different types of threats our infrastructure is created to defend against every day". "Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center", Shenoy wrote in a blog post. Retpoline fully protects against Variant 2 without impacting customer performance on all our platforms.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is quietly advising some customers to hold off installing patches that address new security flaws affecting virtually all of its processors, WSJ reports. That's when Google engineers looked into "moonshot" solutions. Krzanich claims that by January 15, Intel will have issues updates for at least 90% of their CPUs that were produced in the last five years, and updates for all will be issued by the end of the month.
The cause of the issue is now unknown, but Intel has revealed it's working around the clock to assemble and distribute a patch - though there's no telling how long it will take to arrive.
VMware has pledged to issue fixes at the hypervisor level, and cloud providers such as Google and Amazon say they've patched their VMs, but it's wise to patch the kernels, as well, Pereira said. But for those computers that really are performing compute-intensive tasks, you will want to make sure all of other critical security measures are in place taken, including operating system patches. If you have machines that are fairly new and not in compute intensive environments, then apply the patches as they come from the vendor along with the patches that come from Microsoft, Apple or are issued for your Linux distribution. ARM says around 5 percent of more than 120 billion chips using its designs shipped since 1991 were impacted by Spectre and significantly fewer by Meltdown.