Intel has been struggling with problems since the beginning of the year. It is about vulnerabilities that were described earlier this year. It turned out that the architecture of 64-bit processors is sensitive to Spectre and Meltdown attacks. This problem mainly concerned Intel processors. Recently, information related to the next attack, which is called Foreshadow, has appeared. Have recently presented new celestial processors been properly secured?
The vulnerability problem that exploits the imperfections of processor architecture is that 100% security would require physical changes in the processor structure. Fortunately, Intel employees prepared appropriate patches that were provided in the form of microcode and system updates. However, they reduce the performance of the processors used. Fortunately, this effect is not visible in everyday use (this applies to both personal computers and servers). Unfortunately, in some specific applications, the performance reduction can be as high as 10%. Therefore, Intel promised that the new processors will be designed in such a way that it will not be possible to carry out known attacks on them. Did the blue keep the word? Let’s see how the new Whiskey Lake-U processors fall out from their predecessors.
The new generation of Intel processors is secure
The microarchitecture of Intel Whiskey Lake processors is used in the Whiskey Lake-U systems, which will soon appear on the market. They will be used in ultrabooks and 2-in-1 laptops. In addition to improvements in performance and energy efficiency, Intel also took care of security issues. The situation is not perfect yet, as protection against Spectre in option 2 and Meltdown in variants 3a and 4 requires firmware updates. In the case of the Amber Lake architecture (it includes 5W TPD processors) the situation is worse. It was created on the basis of the Kaby Lake architecture (Intel only changed the production process), so all types of patches are provided in the form of a microcode, which has a negative impact on performance. Fortunately, new processors are more efficient than their predecessors, so users should be satisfied.