Intel isn’t planning to patch the Spectre leak in older CPUs, according to a revision guidance posted by the company this week. The processors for which the chip giant won’t release updates are used in ‘closed systems’ with a lower likelihood to be exploited, according to the company.
CPUs with the code names Bloomfield, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Hapertown, Jasper Forest, Penryn, SoFIA 3GR, Wolfdale and Yorkfield won’t get an update for the Spectre vulnerability. Besides the lower likelihood of being attacked, because they are used in closed systems, some CPUs are also hardly used anymore.
Some affected chips date from 1998 and are likely already replaced. However, the listed SoFIA 3GR CPU was still in production in 2015.
Spectre is a vulnerability in Intel, ARM and AMD processors. It allows hackers to gain access to the memory of applications in memory. The leak was discovered together with Meltdown, a vulnerability mainly found in Intel processors.
Update: Intel issued a statement adding, “We’ve now completed release of microcode updates for Intel microprocessor products launched in the last 9+ years that required protection against the side-channel vulnerabilities discovered by Google. However, as indicated in our latest microcode revision guidance, we will not be providing updated microcode for a select number of older platforms for several reasons, including limited ecosystem support and customer feedback.”