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Where are the promised MSI Spectre/Meltdown BIOS updates?

Old-Greg

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I've been littering their various Facebook posts/giveaways ,and pages with comments and warnings to perspective buyers ,regarding their lack of support in this matter. Hopefully someone decides to look into the matter ,or at least hopefully someone considering purchasing from them ,will think twice beforehand.
Glad to hear someone is pro active regarding this.
I visited MSI's official forums again and thumbed through the junk. I saw the odd plea for fixes but the OP's get shot down with mods saying things like "it's all Intel's fault" and "You'll have to wait".
The MSI H270 board I was talking about is basically worthless without a Spectre patch unless it's used offline.
I won't be purchasing MSI hardware again.

The thing about Spectre is that there is a time timeframe where it's possible to have the exploit be exploitable. Even if the hole isn't completely patched, if it's been mitigated sufficiently, it's as good as patched. What you have to understand is that this exploit isn't a golden ticket. It lets you observe some protected memory but, it's not like you can read whatever you want as quickly as you want. You're lucky to get 2000 bytes of protected memory in 1 second. This is problematic in a number of ways but the biggest is with data that is time sensitive or is being changed, moved, or whatever. If Spectre has been sufficiently mitigated to say, 100 bytes per second, the number of things you can do with the exploit starts to narrow. This is already a tricky exploit to actually take advantage of. Mitigating it only makes it even harder. Also remember, this is only to read protected memory, not writing, which also narrows the scope of what you can do even further.

Is it a problem? Sure, but it's not like any virus you might get hit with is likely to be trying to use it. There is far lower hanging fruit.
But it hasn't been patched at all on my MSI H270 mobo :confused:

I know, I've read page after page about the exploits till my eyes nearly bled.

Try telling that to a Data Center. A gaping security flaw is still a gaping security flaw regardless of the spin put on it.
This kind of silence from MSI is reckless to put it mildly.
 

Aquinus

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But it hasn't been patched at all on my MSI H270 mobo:confused:
It hasn't been patched on my motherboard either, because it's a CPU firmware update. :wtf:
I know, I've read page after page about the exploits till my eyes nearly bled.
If you know, you shouldn't care so much as you should understand that it's not trivial to try and utilize this exploit.
 

Old-Greg

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It hasn't been patched on my motherboard either, because it's a CPU firmware update. :wtf:
Really???
My Kaby Lake Pentium, i5 and i7 CPU's have all been patched on the Asus 270 series mobo but not the MSI board.
Yep, I took some time to test all of them on both 270 boards. MSI are in last place dealing with this exploit. See what I'm saying?, MSI are waaaaaaay behind and haven't given 270 users any news or patch for Spectre :shadedshu:

If you know, you shouldn't care so much as you should understand that it's not trivial to try and utilize this exploit.

I do care about this un-patched exploit, along with a mountain of other users :rolleyes:
 

Aquinus

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Really???
My Kaby Lake Pentium, i5 and i7 CPU's have all been patched on the Asus 270 series mobo but not the MSI board.
Yes, really. CPU microcode is reloaded every time the machine starts. Hell, it is even reloaded when the machine comes out of a really low power mode, the OS can and often does provide that microcode. It can be baked into the BIOS but, the latest revision doesn't have to be. Hence why Ubuntu can push firmware updates as part of the kernel. :wtf:
I do care about this un-patched exploit, along with a mountain of other users :rolleyes:
How much you care doesn't make it any more exploitable.
 

Regeneration

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Spectre requires user-level local access, and even then its not that easy to exploit.

The new microcode drops performance in some apps, so annoying as it is, you really not missing that much.
 

Old-Greg

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The motherboard still has a world wide know gaping security flaw regardless.

MSI emailed and suggested I wait for the Spectre patch. Does this company operate out of a back room :confused:
 

eidairaman1

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The motherboard still has a world wide know gaping security flaw regardless.

MSI emailed and suggested I wait for the Spectre patch. Does this company operate out of a back room :confused:
Ok you are at the lowest level of technical support when you email them, they only know as much as you do. They don't have an ETA of when firmware updates will arrive, so just have patience or sell the friggin board, another note, just use the internet cautiously, keep your security apps updated, and GRC may not have updated InSpectre recently.

You can always try to look for beta bios too.

Go to MSI social media pages and gripe there.

I've yet to see board makers show up on These Tech Forums.
 
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They sent beta BIOS for my board when I asked and said that it won't be publicly available, only upon request.
Ehh, MSI. Was Devil's Canyon that long ago? o_O
 
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Because change process is a real life thing regardless of how old anything is.

A rough series of probable events given how change process usually manifests is.

they have no team dedicated to handle "Surprise security issues presented by chip makers"

At this point they need to pull people from other departments but wait. They need the people that have the SKILL required for the patch. Packaging is going to be useless for this so dont take any of them.

We will need to pull programmers from the actual write dept. But WAIT we have mobos in the pipeline still going through design and testing phase we havent announced yet. Those deadlines will get pushed back.

BUT WAIT the deadlines have to be met because we are sourcing chips for these boards and suppliers are delivering or require bulk order to garuntee pricing.

Might as well pull the warehouse manager too. he need space for these parts even if we need to put assembly behind schedule we need to put this shit in places that were supposed to have other shit 4 months from now.

DAMN we still dont have the patch team yet. well those projects are off so pull some of the developers.

SHIT we need PR to get on this and a time line. lets get them over here so we can game plan.

OH NO we need to teach the customer service leads what to tell people and then actually TRAIN the ppl on the web chat sessions.

BUT DAMNIT we have no documentation to push to them.

WHATEVER we need to make the actual patch.

ok pull resources

20min later

SHIT should we future proof this? we might need to make a section in the BIOS that is blank normally to inject new code like this so we dont have to freak out when it happens.

BUT WAIT

will our current eeproms handle this change? (space?)
Should we back port the entire structure?
can we make this work given how the bios functions?
do we have time to beta test this if it will?
does (BAD MANUFACTURER) plan to support older boards?
will it worki with them?
what about the beta and alpha bios for current and not released products can we chang ethem over?
can we delete this section if there is a perminent fix?

OH we need to talk to microsoft

what changes specifically?


etc etc etc etc

now multiply by all board makers affected. (because NO not all of them are "finished")

No but I get where your coming from they should have ha this fixed 1 hour and 26min after intel had a general idea of how to fix the problem,


BUT WAIT they (Intel) are still trying to process fixes for older platforms as recently as yesterday.

/s
This post is glorious and should be in random IT offices worldwide
 

Old-Greg

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Ok you are at the lowest level of technical support when you email them, they only know as much as you do. They don't have an ETA of when firmware updates will arrive, so just have patience or sell the friggin board, another note, just use the internet cautiously, keep your security apps updated, and GRC may not have updated InSpectre recently.

You can always try to look for beta bios too.

Go to MSI social media pages and gripe there.

I've yet to see board makers show up on These Tech Forums.

Yeah I gathered that by the response. I'm tech savvy and this is the first time in 20 or so years I've had to ask for a damn bios update.

I've already search for a beta bios but nothing is around.

The mobo is in the hands of a family member, but even he won't use it due to the 'HOLE'

Been there done that with many others MSI forum members. All threads get locked by the mods with the same generic "Contact MSI here" link.

They turn up on Newegg, Oh I forgot, it must be about the $$$
 

eidairaman1

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Yeah I gathered that by the response. I'm tech savvy and this is the first time in 20 or so years I've had to ask for a damn bios update.

I've already search for a beta bios but nothing is around.

The mobo is in the hands of a family member, but even he won't use it due to the 'HOLE'

Been there done that with many others MSI forum members. All threads get locked by the mods with the same generic "Contact MSI here" link.

They turn up on Newegg, Oh I forgot, it must be about the $$$
Go to Social media then, or just don't buy msi.
 

fullinfusion

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my asus board had the patch out for some time now but I didn't bother with it... I don't need to re-do all my overclock settings nor figure them out AGAIN..

Im good as far as I'm concerned with a non patched bios :pimp:
 

Old-Greg

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Go to Social media then, or just don't buy msi.
SM doesn't appear to do anything. MSI aren't listening, nor do they seem to care.

I won't be buying MSI products again, thanks.

my asus board had the patch out for some time now but I didn't bother with it... I don't need to re-do all my overclock settings nor figure them out AGAIN..

Im good as far as I'm concerned with a non patched bios :pimp:
Both my Asus Z370 & Z270 boards are patched, but I already know my OC settings so the bios updates weren't a problem for me.

Good for you, but some of use don't like walking around in the wilderness with our pants down.
 
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Hi

Got my reply today: very disappointed that MSI First Line Support think the x79 chipset is to old; it is in fact only two generations back from x299 which is a fluffy side grade from the x99 platform.

I have let Micro Star International know I will not be purchasing any more of their products in future as there support in this case is unacceptable

I have asked them to escalate this to Tear Two Support or to Higher Management; but I am "not holding my breath"

@RejZoR hope you have more luck than I

atb

Law-II
 
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I got MSI mobo and the spectre and meltdown patch, I disabled both with Inspectre, I am not worried about a 1% hacking chance over the performance hit. lol
 

eidairaman1

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Some updates wrt Spectre NG, hope it's not entirely off topic ~
Security researchers from Google and Microsoft have found two new variants of the Spectre attack that affects processors made by AMD, ARM, IBM, and Intel.



Rumors about this new flaw leaked online at the start of the month in a German magazine, but actual details were published today.

AMD, ARM, Intel, Microsoft, and Red Hat have published security advisories at the time of writing, containing explanations of how the bugs work, along with mitigation advice.

Bug known as SpectreNG

The bugs —referred to in the past weeks as SpectreNG— are related to the previous Meltdown and Spectre bugs discovered last year and announced at the start of 2018.
Both Google and Microsoft researchers discovered the bug independently. The bugs work similarly to the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, a reason why they were classified as "variant 3a" and "variant 4" instead of separate vulnerabilities altogether.

Variant 1: bounds check bypass (CVE-2017-5753) aka Spectre v1
Variant 2: branch target injection (CVE-2017-5715) aka Spectre v2
Variant 3: rogue data cache load (CVE-2017-5754) aka Meltdown
Variant 3a: rogue system register read (CVE-2018-3640)
Variant 4: speculative store bypass (CVE-2018-3639)


The most important of these two is Variant 4. Both bugs occur for the same reason —speculative execution— a feature found in all modern CPUs that has the role of improving performance by computing operations in advance and later discarding unneeded data.
The difference is that Variant 4 affects a different part of the speculative execution process —the data inside the "store buffer" inside a CPU's cache. Red Hat has published a YouTube video explaining how the bug affects modern CPUs.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uv6lDgcUAC0

As Red Hat breaks it down in a more technical explanation, the vulnerability...

...relies on the presence of a precisely-defined instruction sequence in the privileged code as well as the fact that memory read from address to which a recent memory write has occurred may see an older value and subsequently cause an update into the microprocessor's data cache even for speculatively executed instructions that never actually commit (retire). As a result, an unprivileged attacker could use this flaw to read privileged memory by conducting targeted cache side-channel attacks.


"An attacker who has successfully exploited this vulnerability may be able to read privileged data across trust boundaries," Microsoft said in a similar advisory, confirming a Red Hat assessment that the flaw could be used to break out of sandboxed environments.


So here is #spectre variant 4. The processor speculates that your write operation does not change anything and continues with the outdated (possibly non-sanitized) value from L1.https://t.co/ZcjaTSrLNW
— Daniel Gruss (@lavados) May 21, 2018


Google's Jann Horn, the man behind the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, has also published proof-of-concept code.

Intel and AMD x86 chipsets, along with POWER 8, POWER 9, System z, and ARM CPUs are known to be affected. Intel has published a detailed list of affected CPU series in a security advisory.

Variant 4 can be exploited remotely, via JavaScript code in the browser. Microsoft said it did not detect any exploitation attempts, though.

Additional patches released

Leslie Culbertson, executive vice president and general manager of Product Assurance and Security at Intel Corporation, said that the original Meltdown and Spectre patches from January 2018 should be enough to mitigate Variant 4 as well.

Nonetheless, Intel also announced new patches.

"We’ve already delivered the microcode update for Variant 4 in beta form to OEM system manufacturers and system software vendors, and we expect it will be released into production BIOS and software updates over the coming weeks," Culbertson said. "This mitigation will be set to off-by-default, providing customers the choice of whether to enable it."

"In this configuration, we have observed no performance impact. If enabled, we’ve observed a performance impact of approximately 2 to 8 percent," Culbertson added.

Red Hat and Microsoft announced new patches as well (see links to security advisories for mitigation advice).

Source
 
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Hi

Got my reply today: very disappointed that MSI First Line Support think the x79 chipset is to old; it is in fact only two generations back from x299 which is a fluffy side grade from the x99 platform.

I have let Micro Star International know I will not be purchasing any more of their products in future as there support in this case is unacceptable

I have asked them to escalate this to Tear Two Support or to Higher Management; but I am "not holding my breath"

@RejZoR hope you have more luck than I

atb

Law-II
Hi

Just a quick update; after asking tear one support to pass this to tear two support I have received a Beta Bios (use at own risk) better than nothing I suppose.

atb

Law-II
 
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Hey, you dont need any bios if you install the latest windows updates and download the microsoft microcode update kb, the system will be mitigated fine. No need to install the microcode on bios level if it gets it on OS level
 

Urlyin

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Hey, you dont need any bios if you install the latest windows updates and download the microsoft microcode update kb, the system will be mitigated fine. No need to install the microcode on bios level if it gets it on OS level
What I thought as well...
 

Old-Greg

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Hey, you dont need any bios if you install the latest windows updates and download the microsoft microcode update kb, the system will be mitigated fine. No need to install the microcode on bios level if it gets it on OS level
Completely untrue.

For the last time for those who haven't read what I wrote.
My MSI 270 mobo ISN'T patched against Spectre. Both my ASUS Z270 and Z370 mobo's are. And all are running the latest up to date versions of Windows 10.
MSI haven't released a Bios update for my MSI board since January and suggested I wait when I emailed them.
Forget that, other vendors have patched their 270 series boards without users having to beg for a bios update, why not MSI.
HP also issued a Bios update for the wife's Kaby Lake laptop last week which patched the Spectre exploit. A Microsoft update had already patched the Meltdown exploit.

It's the same issue for RejZoR. His MSI X99 series mobo hasn't received a bios update either. Asus on the other hand have, for many of their X99 series boards.

Hi

Just a quick update; after asking tear one support to pass this to tear two support I have received a Beta Bios (use at own risk) better than nothing I suppose.

atb

Law-II
Tried that as suggested, still nothing.
 

AsRock

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Sorry MSI is a joke, i remember back some time they said they were going do another update for new AMD chips and a month or so later the board i had was removed from the list.

Sorry but MSI is a trash company which will shaft you at any opportunity.

Yep. They were the last to release the latest security updates on Z370 platform as well, Asus and Gigabyte and ASROCK were all faster by about 3-4 weeks on each security release.

I still like MSI's BIOS layout the best, and my Tomahawk Z370 has better VRM's for its pricepoint than the other three according to Tweaktown VRm testing
Yeah seems like they even got the Z77 board i got done too, not the x68 but still.

Although this may not be, find it very odd for a update this late on.
https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77 Extreme4/index.us.asp#BIOS
 
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I have an MSI board, a Z370 Gaming 5 (which I love BTW), and I have not updated the BIOS (I'm still on version 7B58v12) nor am I worried about Spectre or Meltdown, or any of the variants that will be or have been coming out over the next few months years. This is something that I think we will all be living with in the computer world for years, until manufacturer's fundamentally change the way processors are constructed- all the way down to the kernel level or even lower. I just try and use common sense though when online, and don't go to places online that I shouldn't or click on links that I shouldn't. And I am only using Windows Defender and Malwarebytes. That's it.

And do you know how much I have been affected by these horrible exploits? Zero. Nada. And I'm online and on my rig 12 hours a day sometimes. But I'm not so naive that I don't realize there are user case scenarios - especially at businesses that could be devastated by these exploits, but as far as the average guy like me.....I'm not so worried about it, or about MSI updating my boards BIOS so I'll be "safe" from them. I fell safe already. And I built this rig and have been using it since Oct of 2017.

Also, BTW I've went through a lot of boards over the past 10-15 years, most of them ASUS. I used to be a die hard ASUS or nothing else fanboy. But you are wrong - MSI is not a joke. Not in my experience. I've used several MSI and ASUS boards over the past 5 or so years (Z77, Z170, Z270, Z370) and they've all been rock solid. Both companies.
 
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Completely untrue.

For the last time for those who haven't read what I wrote.
My MSI 270 mobo ISN'T patched against Spectre. Both my ASUS Z270 and Z370 mobo's are. And all are running the latest up to date versions of Windows 10.
MSI haven't released a Bios update for my MSI board since January and suggested I wait when I emailed them.
Forget that, other vendors have patched their 270 series boards without users having to beg for a bios update, why not MSI.
HP also issued a Bios update for the wife's Kaby Lake laptop last week which patched the Spectre exploit. A Microsoft update had already patched the Meltdown exploit.

It's the same issue for RejZoR. His MSI X99 series mobo hasn't received a bios update either. Asus on the other hand have, for many of their X99 series boards.

Tried that as suggested, still nothing.
You probably didn't go to the appropriate Microsoft knowledgebase page to MANUALLY install the microcode update, or simply it was yet to be released to support your cpu. Just run inspectre v8 from steve Gibson and you should find out if you are mitigated. As far as I know, the motherboard is irrelevant to this, unless it has a patch that updates the microcode prior to windows loading. If no bios updates exist, I should think that specific page for your version of windows 10 should update the cpu and mitigate it fine. Head over to tenforums , windows news, and you should have links to patches for 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803
 
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