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Patches Installed for Spectre and Meltdown

Two hardware bugs, Spectre and Meltdown, have been identified as the sources of security vulnerabilities in the processor chips of computers, laptops and smart devices like tablets and mobile phones.

At this time, there are no known exploits impacting WestGrid or Compute Canada systems or users. WestGrid and Compute Canada system teams are working on patching all national systems as needed and as patches are released by various vendors. All Compute Canada users will be contacted by email on Monday, Jan 15 with further details.

Some temporary system outages may be required to complete this work and these will be communicated appropriately according to the scope of the outage. For large-scale outages, details will be posted to the Compute Canada System Status page.

Note: If you are operating your own virtual machine in CC’s clouds, you are responsible for updating its operating system to include the latest security patches. Refer to the Meltdown / Spectre page on the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki for instructions and pointers to external resources.

WestGrid and Compute Canada support teams are running benchmarks to assess the effects of the operating system patches on system performance. Some sector reports have cited figures that range up to a 30% performance hit, while others report minimal impacts. If you experience performance issues that you believe are a result of the security patches, please contact support@computecanada.ca.

For a more detailed outline and explanation of Compute Canada’s response to the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, please refer to the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki.

If you have any questions related to Meltdown or Spectre, contact support@computecanada.ca.