Debian developer warns of hyper-threading bug in Skylake and Kaby Lake processors – Cases – CPUs

And the bug is, apparently, not limited to Linux systems.

Debian developer Henrique de Moraes Holschuh has sent a message to the Debian User and Developer mailing lists, warning of a potentially dangerous bug in Intel’s seventh generation Skylake and Kaby Lake processors. Though he reports that the bug is only currently affecting “some Debian stable users”, he warns that it is “not restricted to Linux-based systems”.

The bug is related to the processor’s hyper-threading feature, and can cause “unpredictable system behaviour,” which could lead to application failure, and applications outputting incorrect data. 

Holschuh directs anyone using an affected processor to either disable hyperthreading altogether, or install a set of microcode updates that fix the issue – though these are currently only available to system vendors.

The email seems to suggest that while it is possible for this bug to affect any user, so far it is a small portion of a small community of users of a particular programming language within the Debian community. But if you’re concerned by the possibility of the issue, you can read the original email here.

An Intel spokesperson comments: “We have already identified this issue and addressed it with a fix that started rolling out in April 2017. As always, we recommend checking to make sure your BIOS is up to date, but the chance of encountering this issue is low, as it requires a complex number of concurrent micro-architectural conditions to reproduce.”

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