New Intel Spectre V2 microcode updates (02/20/2018)

[German]Intel released another batch of microcode updates (to OEMs) to close the Spectre V2 vulnerability for 6th, 7th and 8th generation Intel CPUs.


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After Intel had to withdraw microcode updates due to problems in January 2018, the first firmware was released again in early February 2018. In a note to the press Intel announced, that:

production microcode updates to our OEM customers and partners for Kaby Lake- and Coffee Lake-based platforms, plus additional Skylake-based platforms. This represents our 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ product lines as well as our latest Intel® Core™ X-series processor family. It also includes our recently announced Intel® Xeon® Scalable and Intel® Xeon® D processors for data center systems.

OEMs must integrate the updates into their UEFI versions. For Linux, Intel’s microcode updates (in the Linux Processor Microcode Data File) do not seem to have been made available yet. 

Mainboard
(Source: Pexels Fancycrave CC0 License)

Intel released some details

In a 14 pages Microcode Revision Guidance (PDF), dated February 20, 2018 Intel has published a list of pending and released updates.

Intel Microcode-Updates
(Source: Intel)


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The document shows that the Coffee Lake H/S variants (8th generation), Gemini Lake (and some special processors) have been updated with microcode updates..

Intel Microcode-Updates
(Source: Intel)

The above table shows that 7th generation Kaby Lake CPUs (H/S/X/G, U, Y variants) have also been updated. And various Skylake CPUs (6th generation) have also been provided with microcode updates according to the following illustration.

Intel Microcode-Updates
(Source: Intel)

The PDF document shows that further microcode updates are already being tested as beta by OEMs. A release should therefore take place in the coming days and weeks. German news site heise.de wrotes, that the updates for Skylake processors (Core i-6000), that has been pulled on January 22, 2018 has been released again. These updates are not modified, Intel re-released them after additional tests. Dell EMC, Fujutsu and HP shall provide these microcode updates (from Januar 2018) already.

Intel also has a white paper Retpoline: A Branch Target with information on mitigating attacks via Spectre-V2. 

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 firmware update

Microsoft has also released a UEFI firmware update for Surface Pro 3, which is intended to harden the system against the meltdown and spectre attack methods. The firmware update can be downloaded here (as mentioned here).


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