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Google Patch to Block Spectre Slowdown in Windows 10

Microsoft will incorporate Google's Retpoline patch to prevent Spectre Variant 2 from slowing down its operating system.

Microsoft plans to include the Retpoline patch, a fix developed by Google, in an upcoming version of Windows 10 to prevent slowdown caused by Spectre Variant 2, ZDNet reports.

Spectre Variant 2, a speculative execution side-channel attack, has caused much industry concern about its significant effect on operating system performance. While Intel issued fixes addressing Variant 2, a "branch target injection" bug, it also admits the mitigation's impact on performance varies based on the platform configuration, mitigation technique, and specific workload.

Google reports its Retpoline patch, which is software-based and designed to limit speculative execution activity, has a "negligible impact on performance" based on testing. It has already been used by Oracle in Oracle Linux 6 and 7, and by Linux distributions Red Hat and SUSE, the report says.

Now the patch is making its way to Windows 10. Microsoft kernel engineers report Retpoline will be built into 19H1, an upcoming version of the operating system slated to roll out next year.

Read more details here.

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