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F**CKWIT, aka KAISER, aka KPTI – Intel CPU flaw needs low-level OS patches

By Paul Ducklin, Sophos

January 4, 2018

In the near future – in all likelihood, later this month – at least Windows and Linux will get security updates that change the way those operating systems manage memory on Intel processors.

There’s a lot of interest, excitement even, about these changes: they work at a very low level and are likely to affect performance.

The slowdown will depend on many factors, but one report suggests that database servers running on affected hardware might suffer a performance hit around 20%.

“Affected hardware” seems to include most Intel CPUs released in recent years; AMD processors, apparently, have different internals and are immune to this problem.

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