Google has announced that its cloud systems have been patched against Meltdown and one variant of Spectre since September, and for a second variant of Spectre since December, and that its cloud systems have not been slowed down. However, Intel still recommends end-users should apply the updates for both OS and hardware. For customers anxious about the fixes disrupting their machines, Intel said it will provide more updates to the public about the patching process, including "performance data".
In the meantime, Microsoft this week said it has "temporarily paused" patches for Windows customers running AMD processors after some users reported seeing the "blue screen of death" after the update was applied. We know that impact on performance varies widely, based on the specific workload, platform configuration and mitigation technique.
The notice comes on the heels of a report in The Wall Street Journal that Intel has been quietly advising its customers not to install the latest firmware updates. "They are patches that offer operating system and compiler developers the ability to write code that is secure against Meltdown and Spectre".More news: Arcade Fire's Win Butler Blasts Trump for Alleged Haiti Insult
The good news for the general public is that this doesn't affect them, at least not directly.
After an effort that Sloss described as a "moonshot", Google engineers were able to devise a software fix for the Intel processor problem that didn't result in a slowdown, and that had no other significant side effects.
Intel said on Thursday it would issue patches for 90 percent of the chips less than 5 years old by Jan 15 and will then focus on providing patches for the older chips.More news: Oprah for President? The Stars React, and Stedman Drops a Clue
On the same day, rival chipmaker AMD said it will also release a fix for the Spectre vulnerability.
The cause of the issue is now unknown, but Intel has revealed it's working around the clock to assemble and distribute a patch - though there's no telling how long it will take to arrive.
Compounding future issues is that it's also likely these two major processor flaws are not the only ones security researchers will discover.More news: 'Play our best:' Brady brushes off controversy, focuses on Titans
He concludes the update by remarking that AMD will continue to work with the rest of the technology industry to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre.