Microsoft's New Emergency Update Disables Intel's Dodgy Spectre Patch

By Tom Pritchard on at

Everything to do with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities is pretty horrifying, and while the tech industry has been scrambling to try and solve the vulnerabilities quickly it's not been going well. Now it's taken another step backwards, with Microsoft issuing an emergency patch to deliberately disable the dodgy fix Intel released earlier this month.

A couple of weeks ago Intel admitted that the patch it released was causing some machines to reboot without warning, a problem it promised it would fix with a new patch that it revealed was being tested last week. Clearly Microsoft wasn't happy with what was happening, and took matter into its own hands.

As TechRadar points out, this behaviour isn't like Microsoft, since it was pushed out over the weekend rather than hanging around for the usual Tuesday update window. It also deliberately disables another company's patch indicating that it considers the reboot problem was more serious than the actual vulnerabilities. For now, at least.

However, should users wish to stick with Intel's problematic patch and deal with the reboot issue rather than risk living with the CPU vulnerability, Microsoft is giving people the option to disable it and reenable the original patch in the registry settings. It has published detailed instructions on how you can do that, if you feel comfortable with it.

For most people it might be worth sticking with what Microsoft sends out, and wait for a stable patch. Intel claims it has a fix coming, but when it'll arrive is a little unclear. Hopefully it won't be too long, and we can stop panicking about people hijacking our machines. Until the next big vulnerabilities comes a long, that is. [TechRadar]


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