Google's 'free' Spectre patch
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2018 - 12:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, spectre, retpoline, security
Google have released their own patch for the second Spectre vulnerability and claim that there is no noticeable performance hit after installation. The patch isolates indirect branches from speculative execution, similar in effect to what the Microsoft patch does but without the extra trampoline overhead. Intel responded to The Inquirer's contact and confirmed Google's patch is both effective and more efficient than the patch currently being distributed but do mention there is a microcode update which must also be installed for the patch to be fully effective. This is good news for those who use Google and hint at updated patches for Spectre which might mitigate any performance hits it causes.
"The fix, called 'Retpoline' uses software patches rather than disabling the affected CPU features, which Google claims resulted "in no performance degradation across the different mitigation techniques they have developed."
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