Linus Torvalds Says Intel's Spectre Fix Is 'Complete and Utter Garbage'

Andrew Cummings
January 25, 2018

But the patches themselves increased problems for the users by leaving their computer with rebooting issues.

Intel has communicated new guidance regarding "reboot issues and unpredictable system behavior" with the microcode included in the BIOS updates released to address Spectre (Variant 2), CVE-2017-5715.

Shenoy's announcement on Monday offered no mention, as he had explained in his earlier January 17 post, that other processors also are affected by the reboot problems, namely "Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms".

Intel's investigation into what caused the patches to make computers unstable has now led it to advise people to stop applying those updates, Mr Shenoy said.

Patching certain variants of the Spectre vulnearbility requires Intel to rewrite processor firmware, a challenging task that's much harder than patching the security flaws at a browser and operating system level.

The company also posted a full list of Intel-based devices that are affected by this issue, and if you are wondering, the list is not short.

But he also directed his fire at Intel for its plan to remedy the performance hits its patches are creating.

"We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release", added Shenoy, who noted more information about the patch will be revealed shortly.

Meltdown is a hardware vulnerability affecting laptops, desktop computers and internet servers using Intel x86 microprocessors.

The issue of the faulty patches is separate from complaints by customers for weeks that the patches slow computer performance.

The updates had been having an adverse effect on Intel's Broadwell and Haswell CPUs, in both client devices and datacenters, causing them to reboot more often than usual. We expect to share more details on timing later this week.

The always outspoken Linus Torvalds has some choice words to say about Intel and their handling of the Meltdown/Spectre flaw. Intel recommends that the current patches not be implemented on certain systems. Linux inventor Linus Torvalds voiced his concerns regarding Intel Spectre patches and we are going to talk about that here. They do literally insane things. "They do things that do not make sense", Torvalds wrote.

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