Intel Chips Redesigned to Alleviate Spectre and Meltdown Susceptibilities


Chipmaker Intel has publicized that it’s making changes to the design of its hardware to ensure its future processors are secure against Meltdown as well as Spectre susceptibilities.

Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel wrote in a blog post on Thursday that the firm was redesigning various parts of the processor thus introducing in-silicon mitigations counter to both Variant 2 (Meltdown) and Spectre Variant 3.

This hardware changes above, which will not be able to mitigate Spectre v1, will ensure a new partitioning system is implemented to improve both the process as well as privilege-level separation.

Speaking about the new design, Krzanich said that people should see this new partitioning as an extra ‘protective walls’ amid applications and user privilege levels helping to create a problem for the bad actors.

The new partitioning is meant to work as an extra defensive wall between the regular applications and user privilege levels with the aim of preventing vulnerabilities such as Spectre.

Present owners of Intel processor without these new CPUs will have to continue being dependent on the firmware updates for protection from Spectre, which additionally include possible performance impacts.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for the future products of Intel. Krzanich said that as the firm brings these new products into the market, they are also ensuring they deliver the performance and improvements that people expect from them. He further said their primary goal is to offer not only the best performance but also the best secure performance.

Intel revealed that the firmware updates were already available for all of its products launched over the past five years. Microsoft in recent times started to bring the Spectre firmware updates of Intel’s to its catalog of Microsoft Update, thus allowing IT administrators to distribute them to systems efficiently.

Intel previously gave out buggy firmware updates which caused a series of system reboots. Microsoft felt the pressure to release an emergency Windows update that allows the system administrators to roll back the patches of Intel, but it looks as if the latest updates of Intel are not causing the issues that we witnessed before.


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