Google says its security patches not slowing down systems

Intel said it may need to issue updates to fix'buggy patches

Google says its security patches not slowing down systems

"Not only did we see considerable slowdowns for many applications, we also noticed inconsistent performance, since the speed of one application could be impacted by the behavior of other applications running on the same core". The office productivity tests were done with SYSmark 2014 SE.

"Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data centre".

Earlier today, Intel announced it discovered some performance hits after implementing its own mitigation solutions at the chip level.

The news of Nvidia's GPUs being affected by Spectre is a good example of just how widespread a problem it and the Meltdown variant has caused, potentially signalling that the next wave of chip from the main players will need a complete change of architecture. This may not necessarily be the case on older generations, but Intel haven't offered their numbers on the matter for direct comparison.

Intel has included all the benchmark results here on their newsroom post. On Windows 7 with 6th gen chips the decline is comparable to newer chips on Windows 10. Google doesn't list the time frame for how long the Chromebooks that are still pending will have to wait before the patch comes through, so if your Chromebook is among those models and you aren't completely clear on what Meltdown could mean in terms of security, it's suggested to brush up on the issue and take extra security measures. Vulnerability to Variant 2 has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date. Alongside the variant one OS patches, AMD are offering an optional microcode update for all Ryzen and EPYC processors to reduce the threat of variant two attacks - available nearly immediately.

Vendors are rolling out fixes for Meltdown and Spectre, but the process has not been entirely smooth with Microsoft accidentally bricking some AMD-based systems.

Given the difficulty of solving it, Google's Project Zero security team made a rare exception to its 90-day disclosure policy, which gives vendors and companies 90 days to solve the problem before it releases details of a vulnerability to the public. "If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels".

Let's hope similar actions across the tech community can mitigate any further inevitably unearthed timebombs before they affect the end user.

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