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.
From the article, quoting a developer.
“There is presently an embargoed security bug impacting apparently all contemporary [Intel] CPU architectures that implement virtual memory…”
Maybe this is lost in translation but I understood the 286 to introduce Virtual Memory so this presumably affects every Intel CPU made since the 1970s? Yikes