The world recently came to know of the Spectre and Meltdown CPU security flaws which happen to be so significant that they require a redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to be fixed. The exploits affect a wide variety of chips from several manufacturers, including Intel, and cover devices from both conventional PCs to smartphones and servers. Intel now says that 90 percent of its chips that were affected by these exploits have patches available via firmware updates.
Intel confirms in a blog post that it has released firmware updates for 90 percent of its CPUs introduced in the past five years. The company acknowledges that it still has more work to do because while the patches have mitigated the exposure to security issues, some customers have complained about frequent reboots after the update.
The rebooting problem was initially believed to be limited to Intel’s older chips but the company has now confirmed that it has been able to reproduce similar behavior on Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake-based machines as well.
Intel confirms that it has reproduced these issues internally and that it’s making progress toward identifying the root cause. It will provide beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week.
The company has provided more information and additional guidance on this entire episode on its Security Center site. Users will have to update the firmware of their motherboard, so check with your motherboard maker to see if they have an update available.