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  • Intel admits that its Meltdown/Spectre firmware patches trigger reboots on Haswell and Broadwell computers

    Posted on January 12th, 2018 at 06:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you own a PC with a Haswell or Broadwell processor (roughly 2014 to 2016 vintage), I strongly recommend that you refrain from installing the Meltdown/Spectre firmware updates, when they arrive.

    Intel’s detected a teensy-tiny problem.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Intel “Kernel Memory Vulnerability” is going to hit all of us

    Posted on January 3rd, 2018 at 07:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I first read about the problem in an article in The Reg yesterday from John Leyden and Chris Williams:

    A fundamental design flaw in Intel’s processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug… Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December…

    [The security hole] would allow ring-3-level user code to read ring-0-level kernel data. And that is not good.

    That was news to me, but we had a topic here on AskWoody started by @BillC just a few hours later. (I just discovered that I can’t put those comments under this post, so I’ve sealed off the original Code Red thread, and urge you to comment on this topic by clicking Comment on the AskWoody Lounge above.)

    It’s all vaguely reminiscent of the Intel Management Engine bug from 2016-2017.

    Lots of reason to be concerned, but there’s no immediate problem — and no known exploit. Suffice it to say that everyone running an Intel 64-bit chip will likely get hit. Apparently the Linux fix goes after AMD chips, too, although I don’t see any information about whether that’s due to a problem with AMD, or an overly zealous implementation in various Linux distros.

    Intel has the story under embargo, but I would expect we’ll get official notices shortly.

    Worth noting: Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich sold $39 million worth of INTC stock on November 29. Just a coincidence, I’m sure. (Catalin Cimpanu has since withdrawn his tweet, saying “It’s not that bad. It was a legal sale in the eyes of the SEC.”)

    UPDATE: Alex Ionescu – “Windows 17035 Kernel ASLR/VA Isolation In Practice (like Linux KAISER). First screenshot shows how NtCreateFile is not mapped in the kernel region of the user CR3. Second screenshot shows how a ‘shadow’ kernel trap handler, is (has to be).” (Win10 17035 is the Nov 8 IoT beta build.) Thx @teroalhonen

    UPDATE: Hal Berenson: “Putting 2+2 together, my guess is you can see the fix in action here” pointing to this Amazon Web Services page

    Immediately following the reboot my server running on this instance started to suffer from cpu stress.

    We’re entering uncharted territory….

    UPDATE: Kevin Beaumont:

    UPDATE: Worthwhile details emerging, especially about the AMD fallout, on Reddit.

    UPDATE: There’s a report of Proof of Concept code from @brainsmoke.

    UPDATE: Ryan Shrout

    UPDATE: Intel (with stock down about 4% today, as of this moment), says that the security hole extends to other processors. Jordan Novet at CNBC has more from Intel’s point of view.

  • Intel Firmware Security Bulletin issued

    Posted on November 21st, 2017 at 01:46 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Six months on from the initial vulnerability disclosure on Intel Management Engine, Intel have issued a follow-up disclosure today, on a firmware vulnerability.

    Intel has identified several security vulnerabilities that could potentially place impacted platforms at risk. Systems using ME Firmware versions 11.0/11.5/11.6/11.7/11.10/11.20, SPS Firmware version 4.0, and TXE version 3.0 are impacted

    The details have been posted in the Code Red forum, but as we are missing the right panel widgets, you might not find that by navigating! Here’s the link

  • Intel draws fire for not supporting Win10 drivers on “Sandy Bridge” processors

    Posted on April 5th, 2016 at 09:07 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Intel’s not going to distribute some drivers, even for top-of-the-line i3, i5 or i7 machines from a few years ago.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    Thanks for the initial post, GK.

  • The chip times are a-changin’

    Posted on October 30th, 2013 at 19:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Intel’s going to manufacture a fancy ARM chip, but the situation’s not as simple as you might think.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch

  • Intel pulls a fast one in Sandy Bridge fiasco

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 at 23:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    See my InfoWorld Tech Watch blog, and beware the i5 and i7 chips.