Microsoft: Security Patches Slowing PCs and Servers Down

On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. announced that its software patches it released to guard against the security threats in microchips slowed down servers and personal computers, with systems that run on older Intel Corp. processors having the most notable decrease in their performance.

The company’s comments made on a post to their blog are the clearest sign to date from Microsoft that the fixes for the flaws in chips made by Intel and its rivals that were described a week ago, could meaningfully down grade performance.

This topic is of much interest to the operators of big data centers which could see a significant increase in costs if their computers begin to slow down.

Microsoft said as well that the updates in security froze certain computers that use chipsets from AMD the Intel rival dragging down shares of AMD by close to 4%.

Intel, which reiterated Tuesday that it did not see any sign of slowdown of any significance in computers, saw its shares drop by 2.5%, which brings the total share price drop since the surfacing of the issue last week to 7% or approximately $15 billion of its market value.

Shares of AMD have jumped by 20% over the past week as investors have speculated that it could take some of the market shares away from Intel. Chips made by Intel have been the most exposed when it comes to the security flaws.

Researchers discovered the flaws January 3 and said they affected close to every modern computing device today that has chips from AMD, ARM Holdings and Intel. ARM is owned by SoftBank Group of Japan.

Terry Myerson the CEO at Microsoft said in a blog post that the company and others in this industry learned of the vulnerability under a nondisclosure agreement that was made a number of months ago and immediately started developing mitigation as well as updating cloud infrastructure.

Cisco Systems, the internet as well as networking equipment maker said in one of its security advisories that was updated Tuesday that it identified 18 products that were vulnerable including some routers, rack servers and blade servers, and it is expecting to have new patches for its servers in five weeks, or February 18.

Cisco also said it was looking for possible problems in close to 30 more products, which included routers and switches. Most of the products Cisco makes did not fall under the area of being vulnerable because of being closed systems that do not allow their customers to run code on those devices.