“Intel is quietly advising some customers to hold off installing patches that address new security flaws affecting virtually all of its processors,” Robert McMillan reports for The Wall Street Journal. “It turns out the patches had bugs of their own. The glitch underscores the complexity of Intel’s challenge as it scrambles to fix the unprecedented vulnerabilities, which were disclosed more than a week ago.”

“In a confidential document shared with some customers Wednesday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Intel said it identified three issues in updates released over the past week for ‘microcode,’ or firmware — software that is installed directly on the processor,” McMillan reports. “The document is being shared with computer makers and large cloud providers after a few reports that the updates appeared to cause some computers to reboot, said Stephen Smith, general manager of Intel’s data-center group. The bugs are ‘unrelated to security,’ he said, adding they affect a range of Intel’s older PC and server chips, including Broadwell processors introduced in 2015 and Haswell chips that date back to 2013.”

“Intel, which dominates the market for PC and server chips, said last week it expected to soon have microcode updates issued for 90% of the processors it produced during the past five years,” McMillan reports. “The fixes for these problems, however, have caused some performance slowdowns, particularly on older Intel systems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To find out the extent to which performance is negatively impacted by these bandaids, we await research from independent parties.

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