Google found a ‘moonshot’ solution for a variation of the Spectre CPU vulnerability

A software construct known as Retpoline provided the fix

Comments

  • It’s Me

    Would be more impressed if they found a way to do this for their phones and chrome books instead of just their cloud systems.

    • Smanny

      Chromebooks and smartphones are made by many. Some adding their own twist onto the Operating System. If OEMs would adopt project Treble for Android. Then they could make changes to Android faster. As far as Chromebooks are concerned Google maintains the OS for Chromebooks. Google doesn’t want to worry about Linux, so its looking at a new OS called Fuchsia, and Chromebook users can already tryout that OS, if they want.

    • It’s Me

      Would be more impressed if they found a way to do this for their phones and chrome books instead of just their cloud systems.

  • Albin

    Google’s own monthly stats for December 2017 show this distribution of Android versions across devices:

    Marshmallow 6.0 29.7%
    Lollipop 5.0, 5.1 26.3%
    Nougat 7.0, 7.1 23.3%

    Current versions that Google might try to fix with an OS patch are chump change. This is the damning aspect of Android, for my purposes preferable to Apple in almost every way. The huge majority of current Android devices will never be patched. It remains to see whether any patch cripples devices to any serious degree, and the world has to wait for new hardware chips.

    That aside, the relevant question is whether the real attack exploits (which there are none yet) will use installable malware (as usual, for which the Play Store and third party products have worked pretty well) or some cloud vector for which Google’s first response might be the best. Nothing to do but trust the experts, who in fact discovered these problems in the first place.

    • thereasoner

      The percentages you’ve shown are primarily either cheap devices sold with old versions of Android or older quality flagships either past their 3 year update window and/or a fairly recent one still waiting for Android 8. Only some of those phones on Android 7 are even comparable to iphones in class and price, to compare the other old and/or cheap phones to iphones and then say that this is the state of Android in general is just wrong.

      As long as you’re buying an Android device comparable in class and price to flagship iPhones or have done so over the past 3 years then you’re likely are or are going to be covered, after all, you get what you pay for. Depending on the brand and age of that phone a fix/update may be delayed but it’s not like you won’t get it. As for “current” cheap hardware that see little or no support/updates well their cheap for a reason and they certainly do not represent Android in general much less quality Android flagship phones that are supported with updates and security patches.