Microsoft rolls urgent Windows update to kill Intel's faulty Spectre fix

Microsoft brings new privacy controls
A display for the Windows 10 operating system is seen in a store window at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York July 29, 2015 REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Microsoft has rolled out an emergency Windows update to kill off Intel's aggravating microcode fix for the Spectre Variant 2 strain. Microsoft has also discovered that Intel's fix triggered data loss in some instances.

Earlier in the month, Intel released a temporary solution to patch the Spectre vulnerability that resulted in a barrage of complaints after users experienced unexpected reboots and stability issues. The cloud computing software company has put emphasis on the potential repercussions of unstable system behaviors in computers, which Intel did not address, highlighting only reboots. According to Microsoft, it could possibly lead to data loss of corruption.

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"Our own experience is that system instability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption," says Microsoft in a statement. "We understand that Intel is continuing to investigate the potential impact of the current microcode version and encourage customers to review their guidance on an ongoing basis to inform their decisions."

Microsoft issued the out-of-band fix to disable Intel's fix for CVE-2017-7515, the Spectre Variant 2 strain known as "branch target injection vulnerability". Last week, the chip manufacturer already advised its customers and OEMs to abort releasing the current microcode.

Microsoft's Windows update is available for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Updates can be downloaded from the Update Catalog.

This article was first published on January 29, 2018