Microsoft Halts 'Spectre' and 'Meltdown' Patches After AMD-Powered Devices Lock
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"Micosoft said AMD-powered devices locked into "unbootable" state after installing security patch designed to thwart Spectre and Meltdown attacks"
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Get Report) said Tuesday that some of its customers with devices that use chips designed by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report) could not restart them after installing a recent security update and that it would temporarily halt the "patches" designed to correct recently revealed security flaws.
In a statement posted on the company's support website, Microsoft said that "some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown."
AMD shares slumped 3.3% at the opening bell, following the statement, and changed hands at $11.93 each, a move that extended its three-month decline to around 8%.
"To prevent AMD customers from getting into an unbootable state, Microsoft will temporarily pause sending (some) Windows operating system updates to devices with impacted AMD processors at this time," Microsoft added. "Microsoft is working with AMD to resolve this issue and resume Windows OS security updates to the affected AMD devices via Windows Update and WSUS as soon as possible."
The warning could revive concerns linked a newly-revealed security gap that affects chips from Intel (INTC - Get Report) , ARM Holdings and AMD. The vulnerability arises from "speculative execution," a technique that CPUs used to improve performance, and can allow hackers to tap sensitive information stored an operating system.
Last week, Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) said it would release a "patch" for users of its devices to install on the Safari browser over the coming days in order to mitigate the affects of potential security flaws that could lead to attacks known as "Meltdown" and "Spectre." Apple said all Mac systems and iOS devices are potentially at risk from the two security issues affecting processors used in computers and phones but insisted it's unaware of any successful exploits of the bugs.
"Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS ... or in common Web browsing benchmarks," Apple said.