Canonical just announced today that it pulled the Intel microcode firmware update from the software repositories of all supported Ubuntu releases due to some hardware issues.
Two weeks ago, Canonical updated the Intel microcode firmware for Intel processors to version 20180108 to mitigate the Spectre security vulnerability (CVE-2017-5715) that could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information like credit card details or encryption keys from kernel memory.
However, it would appear that there were numerous reports from users with older Intel processors saying they’ve experienced system instability after applying the microcode update. At Intel’s request, Canonical pulled the Intel microcode 20180108 from Ubuntu‘s repos and replaced it with the previous version (20170707).
“USN-3531-1 updated Intel microcode to the 20180108 release. Regressions were discovered in the microcode updates which could cause system instability on certain hardware platforms. At the request of Intel, we have reverted to the previous packaged microcode version, the 20170707 release,” reads today’s advisory.
Users are urged to update their installations immediately
Canonical urges all Ubuntu users to update their installations immediately by following the instructions provided at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Security/Upgrades. The new microcode update for Intel processors is now available for Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr).
The new versions are intel-microcode 3.20180108.0+really20170707ubuntu17.10.1 for Ubuntu 17.10, intel-microcode 3.20180108.0+really20170707ubuntu16.04.1 for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and intel-microcode 3.20180108.0+really20170707ubuntu14.04.1 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Users will need to reboot their systems after updating the microcode firmware for any changes to take effect.
Canonical said that these updates provide the Intel microcode firmware required for the corresponding Linux kernel versions of its supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems. CentOS and Red Hat also removed Intel’s latest microcode firmware for the Spectre vulnerability and replaced it with the older version.