Canonical announced a few moments ago that Intel’s latest microcode update for the Spectre security vulnerability is now available from the software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux releases.
After releasing earlier this week new kernel updates to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre security exploits that put billions of devices at risk of attacks by allowing a local, unprivileged attacker to obtain sensitive information from kernel memory, Canonical now released the updated microcode from Intel for supported Intel CPUs.
Canonical says that the update provides microcode patches that are required by the corresponding Linux kernel versions used in Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating system series to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability.
“It was discovered that microprocessors utilizing speculative execution and branch prediction may allow unauthorized memory reads via sidechannel attacks. This flaw is known as Spectre. A local attacker could use this to expose sensitive information, including kernel memory (CVE-2017-5715),” reads today’s advisory.
Here’s how to update the microcode for Intel CPUs
Users are urged to update their system accordingly to the new microcode patch for Intel CPUs. The new versions are intel-microcode 3.20180108.0~ubuntu17.10.1 for Ubuntu 17.10, intel-microcode 3.20180108.0~ubuntu17.04.1 for Ubuntu 17.10, intel-microcode 3.20180108.0~ubuntu16.04.2 for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and intel-microcode 3.20180108.0~ubuntu14.04.2 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
To install the microcode firmware, open the Software & Updates program and go to the Additional Drivers tab. There, look for the processor microcode firmware for Intel CPUs form intel-microcode and mark it for installation if it’s not used. Otherwise, simply update your Ubuntu computer by running the “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get full-upgrade” command in the Terminal app, and reboot.