Mysterious Intel patch released for almost every modern CPU #Computers @PCWorld
If your PC includes an Intel processor, it likely received a mysterious new update originally pushed out by the company in May.
Three things about this release are somewhat concerning. First, Intel released the new CPU microcode as an “out of band” or unscheduled release. Second, it covers just about everything Intel has on the market today — dating all the way back to the 2017 8th-gen Core (“Coffee Lake”) chips. (The code itself is on the Intel GitHub page, listing all of the affected processors up to and including Intel’s most recent 13th-gen Core chips. Intel Xeons are affected, too.) Finally, the secretive and sudden nature of this patch raises eyebrows.
So what’s all the fuss about? We don’t know, although Intel did respond.
“Microcode 20230512 update released on May 12, 2023 does not contain any security updates and the note, [INTEL-SA-NA], is meant to convey that there are no applicable (Not Applicable) security updates in the package,” an Intel spokeswoman said in an email. “The microcode update includes functional updates only (also documented in product erratum).”
So while we still don’t know what the microcode actually fixes, Intel’s response gives us a better idea that the microcode isn’t actually a repeat of the Meltdown and Spectre bugs of 2018.
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