Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Microsoft stops distributing Meltdown/Spectre patches for AMD devices after fixes brick machines

The issues are appearing on older AMD Athlon systems that received the update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.               Image ZDNet The issues are appearing on older AMD Athlon systems that received the update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Image ZDNet
Ben Pena | 09 January, 2018, 17:00

Microsoft was forced to abruptly suspend security fixes for Meltdown and Spectre flaws over fears they might render millions of devices nothing more than expensive bricks.

It turns out that the update caused a blue screen of Death on Windows 7 machines running specific AMD hardware.

The update is available from within Update & Security in the Settings app. These patches were released to protect PCs against the widely publicised Meltdown and Spectre security threats.

Installing the patch appears to prevent computers with AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Sempron processors from booting into Windows, users in multiple languages are reporting. The bugs were expected since the update rolled out in emergency after flaws in Intel, AMD and ARM chips were discovered.

Fixes for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities don't do much good if they render the "fixed" computer unusable in the process.

Apple releases iOS 11.2.2 for iPhone and iPad
Apple's Meltdown mitigations, which apparently were released back in December, aren't expected to slow down Apple systems. Patches against Spectre, in the form of an update to web browser Safari , will be released "in the coming days".

"To prevent AMD customers from getting into an unbootable state, Microsoft will temporarily pause sending the following Windows operating system updates to devices with impacted AMD processors at this time", Microsoft said in its statement.

The problem might extend to newer AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with some users reportedly experiencing start-up problems after the patch has been installed. Nope, the company recently pushed an important security update, KB4073117 aimed at solving the recent CPU vulnerability issues.

The investigation revealed that affected AMD chipsets did not "conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown".

The news comes after Apple announced on Monday it was releasing an update to protect its devices from the chip flaw which affects almost all computers and smartphones made within the past 10 years.

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