The counter patch comes almost a week after Intel asked OEMs and customers to stop deploying the security patches as “they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior.”
Until Intel finishes testing and releases a new microcode update, the out of band update will stop Spectre mitigation on Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 (all versions), etc.
Microsoft says that unstable systems could lead towards data loss or corruption. Their update has been found to prevent the behavior described, i.e., unexpected reboots. Also, there haven’t been any reports of Spectre variant 2 being used to perform cyber attacks on users’ machines.
The update KB4078130, released on Saturday, will download automatically via Windows Update. Users can also get it manually from the Microsoft Catalog. For advanced users, Microsoft has described a method to disable Spectre variant 2 mitigation using Windows Registry. More details about the method can be found for desktops and servers.
Intel has been getting a bad press for not being able to successfully deliver fixes for the speculative execution bugs which have affected almost everyone. However, the company is working on them, and as the CEO Brian Krzanich said, we could see new Intel processors this year which won’t be affected by the bugs.