Optional Windows update disables crash-causing Spectre mitigations


If you're one of the unlucky few affected by "higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior" as a result of a security patch for your Intel system, rejoice. You can now disable the patch, restoring at least a modicum of sanity to your machine. Microsoft just issued update KB4078130 that specifically disables only the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715—better known as "Spectre, variant 2."

Of course, disabling the mitigation will make you vulnerable to that exploit. As Microsoft itself points out, there are no reports of this exploit being used in the wild so far. When the vulnerabilities were initially revealed, researchers did say that Spectre would be very difficult to attack, so it's possible this mitigation isn't necessarily critical on client machines for now. We'd probably still go on ahead and install the fixed fix whenever that comes around, though.

You won't get KB4078130 from Windows Update since it's an out-of-band update. If you want it, head to the Microsoft Update Catalog site and grab it there. Alternatively, if you're a power user who would rather muck about with the registry, hit this link to head to Microsoft's "Client Guidance for IT Pros" on the topic. Down the page a bit, there's a new "Disable mitigation" section that explains how to disable the patch.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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