Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 00:42 UTC

A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December.

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features - such as PCID - to reduce the performance hit.

That's one hell of a bug.

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The planet will pay the price
by benoitb on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 07:44 UTC
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I didn't see anyone mention it but there will be an ecological price to pay for that bug.

In my work we have about 100 big servers crunching data for a network operator, that is only for 1 customer. A 20% hit means we will have to buy extra servers to compensate as we cannot afford to loose data.

This will cost not just money and deployment work time but 20% extra power usage from now on...

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