Intel recently said that it would have Meltdown and Spectre fixes available by the end of the month for all recently made chips, but you may want to hold off on installing any patches released. A report from the Wall Street Journal says that some of the patches Intel has released have caused problems of their own. Some of the firmware updates have been causing computers to reboot abnormally.
WSJ was able to get their hands on a document Intel shared with some of its customers, advising them to “delay additional deployment of these microcode updates.” Stephen Smith, Intel’s data-center group general manager, told the WSJ that the bugs don’t have anything to do with security and that the document was being shared with computer makers and large cloud companies.
Since publishing of WSJ‘s report, Intel has released a blog post explaining that the systems affected by the reboots are running Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. “We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue,” it said.
One of Intel’s partners told the Wall Street Journal that only informing some of its customers was a bad move, saying that the public has “been given the microcode update but has not been given the important technical information that Intel recommends that you don’t use this.” But security researcher Paul Kocher, who discovered some of the issues with Intel’s chips, said this sort of thing is to be expected. “It doesn’t surprise me a lot that there would be some hiccups.”
The WSJ later updated their report where Intel spokesperson said that Intel informed all customers and the notice “was sent to all customers through the standard patch notification process.” Whether you believe this or not is up to you. Right now, it seems like Intel is trying to do as much damage control as possible.