Intel Kernel Vulnerability Patches May Impact PC, Server, Cloud Performance

Forthcoming Microsoft Windows and Linux patches to address an Intel processor vulnerability could slow down PC, server and cloud performance by as much as 30 percent, according to an unconfirmed report that is pressuring Intel stock’s and raising questions about operating system patch management worldwide.

Original ChannelE2E report from 11:02 a.m ET on January 3, 2017 continues below: The background goes something like this: To safeguard customers from an Intel processor design flaw that introduces security holes, Microsoft and Linux vendors apparently are developing patches for Windows and Linux, respectively. However, the operating system patches could trigger performance hits across on-premises hardware and public cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, according to The Register. (Intel has since denied those performance hit claims.)

Security-minded updates for AWS and Azure apparently will arrive January 5 and January 10, respectively, according to The Register. However, it’s unclear if the forthcoming CSP updates specifically address the aforementioned Intel processor design flaw, ChannelE2E notes.

Intel & Software Partner: Silent So Far

Intel, Microsoft, Linux vendors and CSPs have not commented about The Register’s report. Intel shares are down about 2.5 percent in early morning trading on Wednesday, January 3. AMD stock has jumped 6 percent today amid reports that AMD’s chips don’t suffer from the design flaw.

MSPs and IT service providers, meanwhile, should closely monitor the situation to see if or how Microsoft, Linux and Apple macOS patches need to be applied to address the Intel vulnerability. ChannelE2E has reached out to the major RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers for their potential perspectives on the situation.

Special thanks to The 2112 Group for perspectives on this emerging story.

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