Intel has pushed out a revamped Spectre patch which solves the previous issues that plagued the fix, but the bad news is it’s only been deployed for Skylake-powered PCs right now.
The new patch has been cured of the previous stability issues which triggered multiple system reboots in some cases, and led to Intel recommending that users shouldn’t install its own fix, as you may well recall.
Those who have Skylake Core or Core m processors should go ahead and install this fresh fix pronto. Although there isn’t any exploit targeting Spectre in the wild yet, one could be on the verge of emerging any day now.
In a blog post, Navin Shenoy, executive VP and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, noted: “These updates will be made available in most cases through OEM firmware updates. I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is for everyone to always keep their systems up-to-date. Research tells us there is frequently a substantial lag between when people receive updates and when they actually implement them. In today’s environment, that must change.”
Of course, folks would have been protected much sooner if the initial patch had worked as it should…
And that’s still an issue for most folks, given that these stability problems potentially affect almost all of Intel’s processors. Initially, the company believed these gremlins only affected Broadwell and Haswell CPUs, but then it observed that ‘similar behavior’ occurred on all but the newest and oldest chips – i.e. 8th-generation and the very first Core processors.
Other users, then, are still playing a waiting game, which is an unfortunate situation if indeed the malicious types out there are close to perfecting some sort of exploit to leverage this vulnerability.
At least Skylake is now sorted, though, so that’s a good indicator that fixes for other generation processors are imminent. Fingers crossed, anyway.