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  1. Diablo is offline I'm Delicious!
    Location: Scotland, UK
    Posts: 20,732


    Default Flaw in Intel, AMD, ARM chips allow kernel memory to be read, patching could mean a 5-30%+ slowdown

    UPDATE #1 - Jan 4th '17: AMD and ARM chips are also susceptible to this.
    Microsoft, Apple and Linux, the three major operating system makers, are all issuing patches.

    Apple has not said precisely when patches for earlier versions of macOS will be available, but the latest version, numbered 10.13.2, is safe.

    Microsoft released an emergency Meltdown patch for Windows 10 on 4 January, it will subsequently be applied to Windows 7 and 8 machines.

    Google said Android phones with the most recent security updates are protected, and users of web services like Gmail are also safe. Chromebook users on older versions will need to install an update when it comes. Chrome web browser users are expected to receive a patch on 23 January.

    Now here's something that will not be fun to read about and that is that Intel's CPUs over the last decade (maybe more) have a design flaw that could allow malicious programs and scripts to read parts of a machine's memory that should not be able to. Thankfully, there is a patch in progress for Windows, Linux and Mac systems but the way the patch will work could result in a slowdown compared to before, of between 5 and 30 percent! That's not an all round drop and certain tasks will be affected more than others.
    The effects of the updates to Linux and Windows could incur a performance slowdown of between five and 30 percent, experts said. It would involve separating the so-called kernel memory from other processes.
    It's going to be mostly affected by high-level users such as gamers, along with cloud and web hosting companies who have literally thousands upon thousands of server racks packed with clients who they will now need to possibly move about because of the performance hit that will be felt.
    What we don't know, yet, is just how much kernel memory information can be leaked to user programs or how easily that leaking can occur. And which Intel processors are affected? Again it's not entirely clear, but indications are that every Intel chip with speculative execution (which is all the mainstream processors introduced since the Pentium Pro, from 1995) can leak information this way.
    AMD are apparently unaffected by this flaw however The first patches from vendors might go the easy route and stop the issue for everything before fine tuning it to only be active for those that are susceptible.

    It's a major screw up and one that will be felt all over. Intel's stock price is already dropping.

    Major flaw in millions of Intel chips revealed - BBC News

    What's behind the Intel design flaw forcing numerous patches? | Ars Technica
    I'm a bit mental.


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