Ubuntu takes two on Meltdown CPU patch after first one bricked machines

Thursday, 11 Jan, 2018

The recently known Meltdown and Spectre bugs have affected numerous devices including Linux systems.

While more cautious PC users might normally wait to let GPU drivers "bed in" for a little while before installing them - we know we do, just to see if any big issues crop up with a refreshed version- in this case, it might be best to update your graphics card drivers pronto.

Mitigations are provided with the security update included in this bulletin. The flaw has left massive numbers of CPUs potentially susceptible to intrusion and data theft, and NVIDIA's patch indicates that certain GPUs may also be vulnerable.

Nvidia has provided updates to GeForce, Quadro, and NVS driver software, as well as its Tesla driver software, and its GRID driver software.

While the full extent of affected systems is not yet fully known, Cisco Systems Inc has said it has identified 18 vulnerable products and is looking for problems in almost 30 other products, including switches and routers. Intel shares were down 1.7 percent, while AMD, believed to be able to benefit from its rivals' issues, gained 1.5 percent.

Affected companies, keen to quash any speculation that the flaws could require the replacement of millions of chips or provoke lawsuits caused by slowing computer performance, have been striving to play down the scale of the threat.

Now, it seems Microsoft's operating system may not be the only one experiencing issues due to the flurry of patches aimed at addressing these vulnerabilities.

Nvidia's actions are in this latter category of knock-on effects, Nvidia's CEO said.

Advanced Micro Devices and Softbank's ARM Holdings have said their central processing units are potentially exposed to Spectre.

Intel, Microsoft and Linux developers have all endeavoured to rush out fixes to mitigate risks from the flaws - with the worst, labelled Meltdown, affecting only Intel CPUs.

In an angry first response to the initial Meltdown and Spectre rumours Intel claimed, "performance impacts are workload-dependent, " and that they "should not be significant" to the average computer user.