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The Wall Street Journal: Intel warns some to hold off installing chip patches while it fixes bugs

Intel is quietly advising some customers to hold off installing patches that address new security flaws affecting virtually all of its processors. It turns out the patches had bugs of their own.

The glitch underscores the complexity of Intel’s challenge as it scrambles to fix the unprecedented vulnerabilities, which were disclosed more than a week ago.

In a confidential document shared with some customers Wednesday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Intel INTC, +2.14%   said it identified three issues in updates released over the past week for “microcode,” or firmware — software that is installed directly on the processor. The updates are separate from patches produced by operating system companies such as Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.30%  

Intel advises customers to “delay additional deployments of these microcode updates,” the company said in a technical advisory. “Intel will provide frequent updates.” The document is being shared with computer makers and large cloud providers after a few reports that the updates appeared to cause some computers to reboot, said Stephen Smith, general manager of Intel’s data-center group.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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