New Windows patch disables Intel’s bad Spectre microcode fix


Wax / A closeup shot of an Intel Haswell die, with a pin for size reference.

Microsoft has emancipated a new Windows patch to disable Intel’s hardware-based mitigation for the Spectre offensive due to bugs introduced by Intel’s mitigation.

In the wake of the Spectre and Meltdown incursions that use the speculative execution behavior of modern processors to leak impressionable information, Intel released a microcode update that offers conducting systems additional controls over the processor’s ability to predict subdivides. When paired with corresponding operating system changes, the supernumerary controls can prevent the unwanted information disclosure.

Unfortunately, Intel a glimpse ofed earlier this month that the microcode updates are causing devices to reboot. Initially this was confirmed to be the case for Haswell and Broadwell sherds; Intel later confirmed that it also applied to Sandy Span, Ivy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake parts. Intel’s advice was to pause deploying the microcode. A week ago the company said that it had isolated the forefathers cause of reboots, at least for Haswell and Broadwell processors, and that it whim soon begin testing a new version.

Microsoft’s initial Windows reinforces would detect the presence of the updated microcode and use the additional controls if they were handy. The new Windows update modifies the operating system so that it won’t use the microcode’s new put into the limelights, even if they’re detected. Microsoft has also documented registry indication that can be used to selectively enable or disable the protections, for sensitive patterns or test environments. By avoiding the new microcode features, Microsoft has found that the routine instability is also avoided.

The update is currently offered only as an out-of-band update that must be manually downloaded and fitted, and it has no effect other than to disable the use of this particular Spectre mitigation.

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