Intel Says New Security Updates Make Computers ‘Immune’ to Spectre and Meltdown Threats

A major design flaw in processors, with Intel-branded chipsets seeing the lion’s share of attention (but AMD and ARM are also vulnerable), has garnered necessary attention over the last several days, but now Intel says it’s about time to start calming down.

As first reported by The Verge, Intel states that its latest security software updates make computers previously threatened by the Specter and Meltdown security issues “immune” to those problems now. Right now, Intel is issuing updates for a wide variety of its Intel-based computer systems, ranging from personal computers to wider server farms:

“Intel has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems — including personal computers and servers — that render those systems immune from both exploits (referred to as “Spectre” and “Meltdown”) reported by Google Project Zero. Intel and its partners have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates.”

As it stands right now, Intel says that it has issued updates that covers the majority of computers and other Intel-based systems within the last five years. Intel plans by the end of the week to bring that number of protected devices up to 90 percent.

As it stands right now, these updates are the best possible way for Intel to fix the issue in its current state. For the end user, though, making sure that you are updated to the most recent version of your desktop operating system is vital. We have already heard that Apple patched issues tied to Spectre and Meltdown with the public launch of macOS 10.13.2, and it is expected that any further updates needed will arrive with the wide launch of macOS 10.13.3, which is currently in its beta stage.

Our Take

Plainly put, it’s good to see that while Intel was ready to make sure that the world knew it wasn’t just its processors vulnerable to the Spectre and Meltdown security threats, it’s also ready to quickly deliver updates to fix the problem. It’s strange, though, because the Spectre vulnerability in particular was believed to be a major issue, which would actually require hardware tweaks to protect against. Intel saying PCs are now “immune” to the threats after these updates is a good thing, though, as long as it sticks.

[via The Verge]