Google's 'free' Spectre patch

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2018 - 12:51 PM |
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.

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"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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Source: The Inquirer

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January 15, 2018 | 01:15 PM - Posted by BadOnlineSoCalledPress (not verified)

"•Intel AMT security locks bypassed on corp laptops – fresh research @ The Register"

How about the press stop reporting on the bugs and start getting some information on the laptop/SOC SKUs affected or report on how to find out it that feature is enabled for laptops. It's just bad journalism to always report some hardware bug and the reporters not giving a damn about finding out what laptops may have these issues.

There are a lot of non business customers that have purchased HP Probooks and other business laptops, mostly because the business laptops came pre downgraded to Windows 7 Pro to avoid Windows 8 at the time. So for a while when Microsoft was forcing windows 8/TIFKAM on most new laptop SKUs, users could still get a Windows 8 Pro(with downgrade rights) business laptop with a Windows 8 pro license with windows 7 factory installed via downgrade rights.

January 15, 2018 | 06:44 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

>>It's just bad journalism to always report some hardware bug and the reporters not giving a damn about finding out what laptops may have these issues.<<

That's because they're not hardware bug problem solvers; they're hardware bug monitors.

Seriously, it can be time-consuming to find out which hardware actually has said bug, and it relies on the OEMs or manufacturers doing testing while saying as little as possible or simply passing on blame to other manufacturers or integrators. This will almost always lead to a missed deadline on a story by the time the PR people gets back to the reporter - the result being the "this is old news" comment from joe git.

January 15, 2018 | 08:40 PM - Posted by YourSomeVeryDaftWorkYourselfAnonymouse (not verified)

They get paid to report the FULL story and they do not do a good job. Online Reporting is mostly crap more tuned to page hits than actual Journalism. They could care less about solving the problems when these "Reporters", and their publications, just want those page hits. The online reporting is more tuned to selling mind-share and revenue from ad hits.

They are "Reporters" that only add to the confusion with no actual reporting work done but to regurgitate some cut and paste copy. Online is where journalism went to die and that's not helping at all! Lazy Bastards!

January 16, 2018 | 12:10 AM - Posted by SoneCrazyFuckerPostingFUD (not verified)

You do the best Online Reporting, bro. No one can touch the quality of rants you put out from the loony bin there.

January 16, 2018 | 10:18 AM - Posted by MarketDemandSetsThemPricesGamingScrubs (not verified)

Irritates your little gaming peckerwood a$$ so job done! GPUs are now in demand for compute so suck it up you unwashed gaming scrub!

Ha ha ha! GPUs are all hashing not gaming! Get your poor a$$ez a console!

January 16, 2018 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Anonymousk798 (not verified)

Nobody is going to read your gibberish retard, go tell all your friends about intel me and watch them piss in your face

January 15, 2018 | 05:52 PM - Posted by Caw (not verified)

The update from Microsoft is effecting the performance of hard drives. In some cases the hard drives stops working properly. Dpc-watchdog is being effected in 8.1 windows.

January 16, 2018 | 03:09 PM - Posted by chortbauer

Well sounds nice. But it won't help me a bit, if ASUS doesn't update anything older than X99! When I asked about updates for my Haswell/Z97 system, they wouldn't say if and when there would be one.

How can Intels CEO get away with promising updates for 90% of affected systems till last weekend? I bet they didn't reach those numbers.

January 16, 2018 | 03:43 PM - Posted by psuedonymous

Same reason Google can patch Android immediately but your phone may not get an update for months if ever: you bought a product from a shitty OEM who is too lazy or cheap to pass on updates in a timely manner.
If an update is available from Intel and Asus have not implemented it, then go raise hell with Asus as the blocking party.

January 16, 2018 | 07:57 PM - Posted by Anonymousk798 (not verified)

Cry about it. nobody cares

January 16, 2018 | 07:57 PM - Posted by Anonymousk798 (not verified)

This article is shit.
What OS is this for? What CPUs is this for?

Now there are microcode/bios updates, OS patches, which do you need? None of this shit makes sense to the average person and your garbage article isn't helping.

January 17, 2018 | 07:57 AM - Posted by psuedonymous

"What OS is this for? What CPUs is this for?"

It's a mitigation technique. It is 'for' whatever software (be that an OS or individual application) that implements it.

January 17, 2018 | 12:27 AM - Posted by Luthair

Aren't we all thinking that the real reason behind high ram prices is price fixing as has repeatedly been the case in the past with these companies?

January 17, 2018 | 06:06 AM - Posted by Odin (not verified)

I have no idea what this patch is for. It gives me zero clues. Is it for Android?

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