Intel states forthcoming software and firmware updates will help make computers “immune” to Spectre, Meltdown vulnerabilities

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Date: Friday, January 5th, 2018, 03:55
Category: Hardware, High Sierra, Intel, macOS, News, Processors, Software

Where the Meltdown and Spectre bugs are now affecting billions of processors around the world, Intel has not stated that forthcoming firmware updates and software patches will render Intel-based computer systems “immune” to these issues.

The company has stated that updates have been issued for the majority of Intel processor products introduced within the past five years, and by the end of next week, more than 90 percent of processor products from the last five years will be patched.

For Mac users, Apple has already addressed some of the vulnerabilities in the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, and will cover any further vulnerabilities in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. As always, make sure to install the latest operating system update and firmware patches and avoid suspicious programs, websites, and links.


Intel today also reiterated that the updates that are being released for Mac, PC, and Linux machines should not significantly impact day to day usage and should, for the most part, be unnoticeable. That seems to be true of the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, as there have been no reports of slowdowns from Mac users.

The company offered the following comment regarding the issue:

Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact.

The Meltdown vulnerability impacts Intel CPUs, allowing a malicious program to access data from the memory of running apps, providing passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine, and it can be done through something as simple as a website. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services.

Spectre, on the other hand, breaks the isolation between assorted applications and impacts all modern Intel, ARM, and AMD processors.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and Intel

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