This week in Vancouver, Linux Kernel Developer Greg Kroah-Hartman criticized Intel's slow initial response to the Spectre and Meltdown bugs in a talk at the Open Source Summit North America. An anonymous reader quotes eWeek: Kroah-Hartman said that when Intel finally decided to tell Linux developers, the disclosure was siloed.... "Intel siloed SUSE, they siloed Red Hat, they siloed Canonical. They never told Oracle, and they wouldn't let us talk to each other." For an initial set of vulnerabilities, Kroah-Hartman said the different Linux vendors typically work together. However, in this case they ended up working on their own, and each came up with different solutions. "It really wasn't working, and a number of us kernel developers yelled at [Intel] and pleaded, and we finally got them to allow us to talk to each other the last week of December ," he said. "All of our Christmas vacations were ruined. This was not good. Intel really messed up on this," Kroah-Hartman said... "The majority of the world runs Debian or they run their own kernel," Kroah-Hartman said. "Debian was not allowed to be part of the disclosure, so the majority of the world was caught with their pants down, and that's not good." To Intel's credit, Kroah-Hartman said that after Linux Kernel Developers complained loudly to the company in December 2017 and into January 2018, it fixed its disclosure process for future Meltdown- and Spectre-related vulnerabilities... "Intel has gotten better at this," he said. An interesting side effect of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities is that Linux and Windows developers are now working together, since both operating systems face similar risks from the CPU vulnerabilities. "Windows and Linux kernel developers now have this wonderful back channel. We're talking to each other and we're fixing bugs for each other," Kroah-Hartman said. "We are working well together. We have always wanted that."
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