ADVISORY FOR SPECTRE AND METLDOWN VULNERABILITIES

In Cyber Alert, News by Michael Kierman

“Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after
installing recent Windows operating system security updates,” says a Microsoft spokesperson. “After
investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation
previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect
against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.”
As such Microsoft has stopped distribution of its “Meltdown” and “Spectre” security updates for AMD
products until a fix is created. AMD chipset users may notice their MS Updates being set to a disabled
state until new patch release is sent.
Intel chipsets users may receive a 5 – 30% reduction in processor speeds after they receive their
patches. Older processors and chipsets may be affected at a higher reduction rate than newer Sky Lake,
Kaby Lake & Coffee Lake series processors (6/7/8th GEN processors). The patches were set to release
1/9/2018; some users may not have received their patch yet.
Please be aware that if you do end up with reduction in speed because of this patch, that a fix will be
made available in the future after optimizations are made.
Users are encouraged to patch against these vulnerabilities ASAP even through the risk of potential
slow-downs. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities and gain access to your system, user names /
passwords, snippets from web browsing history, text from private email conversations, etc. This is a
critical architecture flaw at the hardware level of your computer’s processor and needs to be treated as
a SERIOUS threat to business security.
Please be aware that AVATAR Computing, Inc. is aware of the issue; that we will be issuing patches on a
per chipset basis and will help answer and field any questions regarding this security breach.