Categories: CryptoNews

Intel CPU Bug can be Disastrous for Windows Users Running a Bitcoin Node or Wallet

Enthusiasts operating a Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency node may want to take notice of the new Intel bug. More specifically, quite a few Intel CPUs are affected by a bug which crashes computers after a certain time. Such a crash can lead to data corruption, application misbehavior, and even a loss of data. This is especially troubling for people running a cryptocurrency wallet on their Intel CPU as well.

Intel CPU Bug is Quite Problematic

It is never good to know your computer’s CPU is at risk of being compromised. More specifically, some Intel CPU models are prone to a bug which will effectively crash your system once a particular sequence of operations is processed. That is rather surprising, as CPUs are designed to handle virtually any series of operations the user throws at it. That is no longer the case, by the look of things.

More specifically, the bug is not new, as it was reported to Intel back in 2016. The company implemented a fix in April and May of 2017, which is somewhat late. However, it appears this update is not available to Windows users, and even most Linux users may not have access to the code just yet. That is unacceptable in this day and age of technology, to say the least.

To put this into perspective, the bug affects Kaby Lake, Skylake, Xeon v5 and v6, and some other less commonly used CPU models. It is evident this list is a lot longer than most people would like, which may explain why it has taken Intel several months to issue a fix. However, just because the fix is available does not mean everyone in the world can access it. It is unclear why this patch is still not a part of the Windows operating system in June of 2017.

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Some Linux computer vendors have shipped out the BIOS updates to implement this Intel CPU fix. Windows users will have to wait for the time being, as it does not appear Microsoft will include this fix in a future update soon. Then again, that situation may come to change at any given time. We do know Intel has made the Windows fix available to Microsoft not too long ago. There is no valid reason to delay what needs to be done, that much is evident.

For the time being, it is possible to counter the Intel CPU bug by manually modifying the computer BIOS. Experienced users can disable hyper-threading to mitigate this bug until an official patch is released by Microsoft. At the same time, disabling hyper-threading will decrease CPU performance, making it a less favorable solution for people who need all of their CPU cycles for day-to-day operations. It is a rather uneasy situation, to say the least.

This issue can be quite disastrous for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users. Anyone running a Windows node on one of the affected Intel CPUs risks dealing with system instability and data corruption. If a node were to be affected, it is possible the user may need to resync the entire blockchain. Enthusiasts who keep their cryptocurrency wallet connected to the internet at all times may experience similar issues until Microsoft addresses the problem. For now, the bug doesn’t appear to be a major issue, but it is always a good idea to be prepared for what may come.

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JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he aims to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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