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Intel Releases New Patch For Spectre Chip Issue

By March 12, 2018June 8th, 2022Cybersecurity

By now, you’ve probably heard more than you ever wanted to hear about the critical Intel security flaw known as “Spectre.”  The flaw is massive in scope and scale, impacting every chip that Intel has released over the past decade, and if exploited, would allow a hacker to take complete control over the vulnerable system.  Needless to say, once discovered, the company got to work right away on a fix for the issue.

Unfortunately, there were problems.  Whatever form the fix ultimately took, it was going to mean a performance hit to any machine receiving the update.  Early estimates were that performance could be degraded by between 17 and 24 percent.

As it turns out, things were worse than expected.  Intel’s first attempt at patching the issue can only be described as a catastrophic failure, causing updated systems to spontaneously reboot multiple times a day and ruining performance.  The problem got so bad that the company formally recommended not installing the patch and waiting for a better one to be developed.

That better patch is now available, and has been extensively tested to avoid the problems that plagued the release of the first patch.  If you’re running a machine that uses Intel’s sixth, seventh, or eighth generation processor (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, or Skylake), or if you’re using a machine running an X-series processor, you should have already received the update via OEM firmware push.  If not, now is the time to grab it.

While it’s true that we’ve seen worse bugs and flaws than Spectre, this is as bad as anything we’ve seen recently. Given how many Intel-based machines there are out there in the wild, the problem posed by Spectre couldn’t get much bigger.  Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.  Get the update today.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.