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charlesarthur : torvalds   1

'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature • The Register
Thomas Claburn and Kat Hall:
<p>Intel's fix for Spectre variant 2 – the branch target injection design flaw affecting most of its processor chips – is not to fix it.

Rather than preventing abuse of processor branch prediction by disabling the capability and incurring a performance hit, Chipzilla's future chips – at least for a few years until microarchitecture changes can be implemented – will ship vulnerable by default but will include a protection flag that can be set by software.

Intel explained its approach in its technical note about Spectre mitigation, titled Speculative Execution Side Channel Mitigations. Instead of treating Spectre as a bug, the chip maker is offering Spectre protection as a feature.

The decision to address the flaw with an opt-in flag rather than activating defenses by default has left Linux kernel steward Linus Torvalds apoplectic.

Known for incendiary tirades, Torvalds does not disappoint. In a <a href="http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1801.2/04628.html">message posted to the Linux kernel mailing list on Sunday</a>, he wrote, "As it is, the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE."

"All of this is pure garbage. Is Intel really planning on making this shit architectural?" he asked. "Has anybody talked to them and told them they are f*cking insane? Please, any Intel engineers here – talk to your managers."</p>


The full Torvalds rant is worth reading. Never one to hold back, ol' Linus.
linux  torvalds  intel  spectre  hacking 
january 2018 by charlesarthur

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