Technology

Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

Two of these, CVE 2017-5753 and CVE 2017-5715, have been dubbed Spectre with the third, CVE 2017-5754, given the Meltdown moniker.

As expected, the patch for found vulnerabilities might slow down some old PCs and impact on performance could be significant.

Of course, lest we forget, because Microsoft rolls up a lot of its security updates into fun-sized bundles of bork this also means it has had to pull some other stuff from AMD machines as well.

Because Windows clients interact with untrusted code in many ways, including browsing webpages with advertisements and downloading apps, our recommendation is to protect all systems with Windows Updates and silicon microcode updates.

Currently, Microsoft supports 45 different releases of Windows.

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On January 3rd Intel officially responded to the so-called inaccurate media reporting on its products and said that they were working with AMD and ARM on the issue. You can find the full list of Windows editions and supporting update information here. The company has provided a reasonably detailed description of the impact.

"In general, our experience is that Variant 1 and Variant 3 mitigations have minimal performance impact, while Variant 2 remediation, including OS and microcode, has a performance impact", Myerson stated.

Numerous users wrote of being unable to get past the Windows 10 splash screen on start-up.

With Windows 10 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance.

It's worth noting that neither Microsoft nor Intel is intentionally slowing down the older versions of Windows with previous-generation processors. The patch for Windows Server "shows a more significant performance impact", Myerson explained. SharedArrayBuffer may return after the company is confident that it can't be used to stage an attack, according to Microsoft Principal Lead Program Manager John Hazen. But systems running older power plants will see noticeable slowdowns. "In the longer term, we have started experimenting with techniques to remove the information leak closer to the source, instead of just hiding the leak by disabling timers", blogged Mozilla software engineer Luke Wagner. That's a question businesses will need to address. In a ideal world, that would be the end of it - at least until new exploits related to Spectre and Meltdown are discovered - but of course, we don't live in a flawless world.


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