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Microsoft disables Windows Spectre fix in an update

Almost a month after the mayhem caused by flaws in processor chips from Intel and AMD, the latest move from Microsoft is to disable the fix. From the two vulnerability variants Meltdown and Spectre. The latest update disables the Spectre mitigations.

This comes in at a surprising reversal of the security patch deployed to Microsoft Operating systems. The patch has been disabled due to memory corruption and instability in some devices. This proves that the vulnerability in hardware is not a trivial fix. Users can check if their device is vulnerability using an online web test for Spectre JavaScript vulnerability.

The company (and others in the industry) have known about the vulnerability reported by the Google Zero team since the summer of 2017. Intel and Microsoft have had plenty of time to work on the issue, but in this case the large number of devices proves that it there are large amounts of devices where the fix causes more havoc.

According to Microsoft there are no current exploits in the world targetting the Vulnerability. So even if the Spectre attack can take place via JavaScript, the company recommends users to disable the patch issued earlier. In the case of degraded performance the company remains confident that effects will be minimal.

The update affects a large number of Windows Operating systems, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 10 Version 1511, Windows 10 Version 1607, Windows 10 Version 1703, Windows 10 version 1709, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

Intel has stated that it will bring hardware to the market without the physical vulnerability sometime later this year. More information on the update reversing the fix for the Spectre Variant 2 causing stability and corruption issues can be found on the Microsoft knowledge base.

Written by Jorgé on Monday January 29, 2018

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