Saturday, 18 August, 2018


Intel, Microsoft, Google Scramble for Solutions as Patches Slow Systems

James Martin  CNET James Martin CNET
Melba Vasquez | 13 January, 2018, 03:29

The company's stock dipped almost 3.8% on Tuesday after some users with older AMD chips in their computers complained that a Microsoft (MSFT) Windows software patch caused those users' computers to freeze up and become unusable.

The next time your computer wants to update, you should probably let it. Microsoft is issuing a new update that fixes vulnerabilities revealed by chip-makers last week.

AMD CEO Lisa Su told Yahoo Finance that the Austin, Texas-based computer and graphics chip company is quickly working to resolve and address a recently-discovered security flaw that affects AMD (AMD) computer chips. AMD shares have gained almost 20 per cent in the last week as investors speculated that the chipmaker could wrest market share from Intel, whose chips were most exposed to the security flaws. "We (and others in the industry) had learned of this vulnerability under nondisclosure agreement several months ago and immediately began developing engineering mitigations and updating our cloud infrastructure", Microsoft executive Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post. However, it is believed that this threat will be contained with an operating system patch.

While the full extent of affected systems is not yet fully known, Cisco Systems has said it has identified 18 vulnerable products and is looking for problems in almost 30 other products, including switches and routers. The majority of Cisco's products were not vulnerable because they are "closed systems that do not allow customers to run custom code on the device", it said.

ARM Holdings estimated that around 5 per cent of more than 120 billion chips its partners have shipped since 1991 was impacted by Spectre.

Chances are that if the iPhone is affected, the Android phones are affected too by the Spectre and Meltdown, although for now no one is talking about that.

AMD has published an update on its processor security in the wake of the Spectre and Meltdown saga.

Read on to see how the drama has unfurled so far.

The tech titan has confirmed the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability's existence late past year, admitting that its latest chips have security holes remote attackers could exploit. The company issued a security bulletin stating that it is providing an "initial security update to mitigate aspects" of the latter. We did have an issue with some of the older processors with Microsoft and their patch.

Chipmakers and operating system vendors have been pushing out patches to fix the flaws, but the software updates have also raised a host of new concerns.

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