Windows 10: Meltdown, spectre and old motherboard and CPU.

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  1. banger's Avatar
    Posts : 397
    Windows 10 Pro x86 and x64 dual boot
       06 Jan 2018 #1

    Meltdown, spectre and old motherboard and CPU.


    I am running FCU Win 10 Pro on a MSI P35 Neo F v1 motherboard with Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU. I have ran the MS controlsettings script which informs me I am protected from Spectre by Windows Update but not Meltdown without a BIOS/Microcode update.

    As this is a 2008 motherboard I very much doubt a BIOS update will be forthcoming from MSI and the windows patch is not enabled due to hardware firmware update required. Is this the end for my machine which quite happily runs Windows 10 Pro and all my loaded programs or is there a known workaround to enable the windows meltdown patch without BIOS update?
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  2. lehnerus2000's Avatar
    Posts : 1,757
    W7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), LM 18.3 MATE (64 bit), W10 Home 1703 (64 bit), W10 Pro 1703 (64 bit) VM
       06 Jan 2018 #2

    It depends on what you do on your machine.

    If you just play games it shouldn't really matter.

    OTOH, if you do stuff that you want to keep secret (like banking) it could be an issue.

    A possible option is to use a Live Linux CD/DVD/USB (or install a Linux distro including the appropriate patches) on your machine and do your banking using that.
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  3. banger's Avatar
    Posts : 397
    Windows 10 Pro x86 and x64 dual boot
    Thread Starter
       06 Jan 2018 #3

    Yes I do banking although my bank website has username and password also has dropdown mouse selectable memorable word characters which is pretty secure. Wont a Linux distro also be susceptible to Meltdown if the hardware patch isn't in place or do you mean just boot to linux and do banking and nothing else eg no other tabs open?
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  4.    07 Jan 2018 #4

    Well ... if there's no fix for your old computer, then you're screwed.

    Oh wait! File a class-action lawsuit again Intel!

    Oh wait! That's already being done!

    Just wait for around five years and you get your settlement ... perhaps $10. Whoopee!
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  5. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 21,193
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       07 Jan 2018 #5

    banger said: View Post
    I am running FCU Win 10 Pro on a MSI P35 Neo F v1 motherboard with Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU. I have ran the MS controlsettings script which informs me I am protected from Spectre by Windows Update but not Meltdown without a BIOS/Microcode update.

    As this is a 2008 motherboard I very much doubt a BIOS update will be forthcoming from MSI and the windows patch is not enabled due to hardware firmware update required. Is this the end for my machine which quite happily runs Windows 10 Pro and all my loaded programs or is there a known workaround to enable the windows meltdown patch without BIOS update?
    I don't think that old timer from Q1 2008 is effected.

    Intel Coreā„¢2 Duo Processor E8400 (6M Cache, 3.00 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB) Product Specifications

    See"Which Intel-based platforms are affected by or vulnerable to the issue?": Facts about Side-Channel Analysis and Intel Products
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  6. lehnerus2000's Avatar
    Posts : 1,757
    W7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), LM 18.3 MATE (64 bit), W10 Home 1703 (64 bit), W10 Pro 1703 (64 bit) VM
       07 Jan 2018 #6

    banger said: View Post
    Yes I do banking although my bank website has username and password also has dropdown mouse selectable memorable word characters which is pretty secure. Wont a Linux distro also be susceptible to Meltdown if the hardware patch isn't in place or do you mean just boot to linux and do banking and nothing else eg no other tabs open?
    If you have an installed Linux Distro it will be vulnerable until the patches are released.

    Presumably the current Live CD/DVD/USB images don't include the appropriate patches.

    I'm not sure when each Linux Distro will release the new patched Live CD/DVD/USB versions.
    You'd have to ask/check on the appropriate forums.
    I've read that Ubuntu will be releasing it's patches on January 9 (I use Linux Mint so I'm going to have to ask/check on their forum)

    However, you should be reasonably safe if you use a Live CD/DVD/USB:
    • Only open the browser (usually Firefox)
    • Type the address in the Address bar (don't use any search engines or open any tabs)


    The Live CD/DVD/USB shouldn't leave any files on your HDD/SSD.

    I haven't read of any known malware that is using these exploits.
    There is "Proof Of Concept" code, so presumably hackers are going to be releasing malware soon.

    It's possible that installed versions of Windows and Linux are safe to use as long as you:
    • Run your AV in Windows
    • Make sure that the browser caches are empty
    • Type the address in the Address bar (don't use any search engines or open any tabs)


    Firefox has released patches to try to block this exploit:
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/mozil...s-519241.shtml

    It seems that Chrome won't be patched for a couple of weeks:
    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style...fix-version-64
    Here is a link about precautions you can take in the meantime:
    http://mashable.com/2018/01/04/googl...tion-meltdown/
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  7. Posts : 380
    Ubuntu 18.04, win 10 pro
       07 Jan 2018 #7

    banger said: View Post
    Wont a Linux distro also be susceptible to Meltdown if the hardware patch isn't in place or do you mean just boot to linux and do banking and nothing else eg no other tabs open?
    As many users I'm also trying to wrap my head around this meltdown, there are a lot of general and vague articles maybe because the disclosure was not supposed before 01092018 (?).

    I'm more than happy if someone will correct me if i'm wrong, and help me better understand.

    What i understand on the Linux situation is that there are mitigation patches and the release process is not finished yet.

    What mitigation can i have (in Linux):

    Kernel patches (KPTI) to mitigate "Meltdown" and "Spectre": CVE-2017-5754 CVE-2017-5753 CVE-2017-5715 this works at OS level and does not remove the hardware bug. This should prevent the OS vulnerabilities.

    Microcode drivers updates, this could eventually bypass the old motherboard issue:

    From Debian:

    Processor microcode is akin to processor firmware. The kernel is able to update the processor's firmware without the need to update it via a BIOS update. A microcode update is kept in volatile memory, thus the BIOS/UEFI or kernel updates the microcode during every boot. The BIOS (or UEFI) updates the CPU microcode during boot, however most of the time either the motherboard vendor won't issue frequent BIOS/UEFI updates, or the user won't install such updates. For these reasons, the system processor is likely to be running with outdated microcode on a vast number of systems.
    The CPU microcode update system is composed of software (kernel drivers, user-space utilities), and CPU-vendor-provided "opaque" update data.
    This situation is a brilliant example to me of how free/open source software is so valuable, we wouldn't be at the mercy of xxx for our "old" hardware.

    Kernel patches, When? Ubuntu:

    The original coordinated disclosure date was planned for January 9 and we have been driving toward that date to release fixes. Due to the early disclosure, we are trying to accelerate the release, but we don't yet have an earlier ETA when the updates will be released. We will release Ubuntu Security Notices when the updates are available.
    Is January 9 patch Tuesday?

    January 3, 2018 - KB4056892 does this patch the win 10 kernel for meltdown and spectre? I suppose yes(?).

    Win 7 an 8.1 kernel patches should be released also.
    Last edited by roy111; 07 Jan 2018 at 10:17.
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  8.    07 Jan 2018 #8

    Now I'm seeing that the patch has problems ... ranging from will-not-install to your-computer-is-now-a-brick.

    KB4056892 bugs: Install fails, browser crashes, PC freezes, and more
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  9. Posts : 1,843
    Win 10 X64 Pro 1803 17751.1
       07 Jan 2018 #9

    To paraphrase an old joke:

    Doctor, my passwords may be stolen if I downloaded malware that exploits the meltdown (or spectre) vulnerabilities.

    Doctor: then don't do that.
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  10. banger's Avatar
    Posts : 397
    Windows 10 Pro x86 and x64 dual boot
    Thread Starter
       07 Jan 2018 #10

    Found this Download Linux* Processor Microcode Data File for my Core 2 Dua a microcode download for Linux is this what I need except for Windows?
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