Well, guess I need to remember that, especially since I have recommended installing Linux on Old Computers many times!?! Not entirely my fault, since I had believed what the Linux ‘People’ had been saying for years ‘n years.
Made public back in June by Intel was the MMIO Stale Data vulnerabilities. The disclosure noted affected Intel products range from Haswell up through Rocket Lake on the client side or Xeon Scalable Ice Lake servers. However, pre-Haswell Intel CPUs might be impacted too while the Linux kernel to this point was incorrectly stating older CPUs are “not affected” by MMIO Stale Data.
Intel has contributed a patch working its way now to the mainline kernel to acknowledge when an older processor is running to say it’s “unknown” whether it’s impacted by MMIO Stale Data rather than saying “not affected” and possibly giving a false sense of security. Intel for their part when evaluating vulnerabilities only go back so far in testing/verifying the exposure and so there isn’t concrete information for example in the case of MMIO Stale Data whether pre-Haswell processors are affected.
The updated Linux documentation for MMIO Stale Data puts the unknown state as: “The processor vulnerability status is unknown because it is out of Servicing period. Mitigation is not attempted.”
That is the problem wid keeping old computers around!!! Hardware & software have a Service period or date or etc. when all support has ended.
Servicing period: The process of providing functional and security updates to Intel processors or platforms, utilizing the Intel Platform Update (IPU) process or other similar mechanisms.
End of Servicing Updates (ESU): ESU is the date at which Intel will no longer provide Servicing, such as through IPU or other similar update processes. ESU dates will typically be aligned to end of quarter.
‘Is it safe to install Linux on my Old Computer – that answer is currently “unknown”.’
Will add this post to the *Linux Security Issues* page…
LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!