Oh Linus Torvalds, how we miss your unapologetic choice of words. From publicly swearing at NVIDIA for not providing enough support for Linux and Android back in 2012, to his OCD-induced and vulgarity-spewing tirade over lines of bad coding, the man is certainly a legend in the world of computing beyond his status as the father of Linux.
Recently, the man directed his ire towards Intel and its patches that are supposed to fix the Spectre and Meltdown flaws. Torvalds ire stems from the fact that Intel’s patches don’t actually fix the problem outright but instead, offer what he describes as a protection flag feature to the existing problem.
To put in a less-confusing way: Torvalds is saying that the Intel’s patches doesn’t treat the Spectre and Meltdown flaws as bugs. Instead, Intel is choosing to just leave the vulnerabilities in its chips as they are, and ship them out with the aforementioned protection patch as a feature.
Needless to say, Torvalds had some choice words for Intel, and in a message posted to the Linus kernel mailing list, he said that “as it is, the patches are complete and utter garbage,” and that “they do literally insane things.”
This isn’t Torvalds’ first time attacking Intel on the Spectre and Meltdown flaw. Earlier in the same month, he mouthed off by saying that “Intel needs to really take a long hard look at its CPUs, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say everything works as designed.”
The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities are flaws that are plaguing Intel’s processors, with Spectre being the nastier of the two. To be fair to Intel; the company is aware of the problem, and to date, Intel has released several patches to the flaws.
However, the semiconductor maker has since issued a statement on its site, advising users to hold out on installing the new security patch, at least until the company finds a better solution. All in all, it is likely that the threat of Spectre and Meltdown are going to be around for quite some time.