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.

Permalink for comment 652459
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Performance hit for security?
by christian on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 17:01 UTC
Member since:

While I seat here reading this, I have apt updating the software on my laptop, which is promptly burning a hole in my lap as the CPU spins with the company mandatory virus scanner scans each and every updated file, while at the same time making my laptop less responsive.

Seems we're all too happy to pay a significant price for security, so it'll be business as usual within 3 months once the furore has died down.

Reply Score: 0