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I am trying to find out something about this Meltdown vulnerability affecting, in few words, all Intel processors. According to what I have read, Microsoft has launched a fix via Windows Update, but I have also read that fixing the vulnerability will decrease the performance of the processors. I have alse read about Intel updates, Firefox updates...

First question: what kind of problem is this? Hardware design? Software design? The fix is done through a OS update, or specific programs such as web explorers need...?

My conclusion is that, in a few weeks, when theses updates are spread, suddenly most computers in the world (at least home computers) will be slower in 2018 than they were in 2017. Is this true?

If so, is this one of the biggest security and performance milestones in computers history?

Thank you all who are able to cast light on this Meltdown matter.

closed as off-topic by Daniel B, BillP3rd, Pimp Juice IT, DrMoishe Pippik, Hennes Jan 18 '18 at 11:25

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    The biggest misconception from earlier reports is that there might be significant slowdown. In practice desktop users will see anywhere from 0% to 2%, while server users might see up to 15% in some specific scenarios, outside of worst-case benchmarking. Information Security has a few good Q&As. – Bob Jan 10 '18 at 8:49
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It is a hardware design error, and the "fix" would be to replace your CPU.

To prevent exploitation, the OS's provide patches - with which you have to be very careful: some early patches prevented booting. But since the vulnerability can be exploited with eg. Javascript, Firefox also released a new version last Friday. I don't know about your sixth question.

  • Anyone besides me think this silly "exploit" is being dredged up to push people into considering their existing hardware is obsolete before it really is? – NoelC Jan 25 '18 at 2:11

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