By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Intel Corp
Intel Executive Vice President Navin Shenoy disclosed the problem in a statement on the chipmaker’s website, saying that patches released after months of development caused computers to reboot more often than normal and other “unpredictable” behavior. (http://intel.ly/2DsL9qz)
“I apologize for any disruption this change in guidance may cause,” Shenoy said. “I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues.”
The issue of the faulty patches is separate from complaints by customers for weeks that the patches slow computer performance. Intel has said a typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns.
Intel’s failure to provide a usable patch could cause businesses to postpone purchasing new computers, said IDC analyst Mario Morales.
Intel is “still trying to get a handle on what’s really happening. They haven’t resolved the matter,” he said.
Intel asked technology providers to start testing a new version of the patches, which it began distributing on Saturday.
The warning came nearly three weeks after Intel confirmed on Jan. 3 that its chips were impacted by vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown, which make data on affected computers vulnerable to espionage.
Meltdown was specific to chips from Intel, as well as one from SoftBank Group Corp’s <9984.T> ARM Holdings. Spectre affected nearly every modern computing device, including ones with chips from Intel, ARM and Advanced Micro Devices Inc
Problems with the patches have been growing since Intel on Jan. 11 said they were causing higher reboot rates in its older chips and then last week that the problem was affecting newer processors.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Intel asking customers to halt using the patches.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Lisa Shumaker)