Intel’s Microcode Update for Spectre Makes a Comeback in Ubuntu’s Repositories

On January 22, 2018, Canonical replaced the Intel microcode firmware versioned 20180108 with the older 20170707 release at Intel’s request, thus no longer protecting users’ computers against the Spectre security vulnerability that could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information from kernel memory. While users were left hanging for month, on February 22, 2018, Canonical released new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases to provide compiler-based Retpoline kernel mitigation for Spectre Variant 2 on both the amd64 and i386 hardware architectures.