As you may have read or heard, yesterday the Register announced several severe security problems with Intel processors, which are affecting nearly all computers with modern Intel processors (link below). This means an emergency maintenance window is scheduled from tomorrow onwards (January 4th), which can lead to downtime for your website or Virtual Private Server(s) outside the normal maintenance window. Please see below for more details.
Like most hosting providers, Greenhost uses Intel processors for our hosting and cloud infrastructure and this means our servers are also vulnerable for these security issues. The current security issue is severe and cannot be isolated with other methods. This requires us to act as soon as possible to protect against possible exploitation of this bug by attackers. This problem is not just limited to the Greenhost infrastructure, several other (major) cloud providers are scheduling forced reboots of their platform in the coming week(s) to solve this issue when a fix becomes available.
The exact severity of the flaw has not yet been publicly disclosed, but it seems that the different operating systems view it as a serious problem that apparently cannot be patched with a small update. Our customers can be ensured that we are closely monitoring the situation. Where possible we already fixed some parts of our infrastructure, while we are awaiting for more information from our vendors.
As soon we received a fix from our vendors, we will update our hosting and cloud infrastructure. That might mean a temporary loss of service, but of course we will try to keep downtime to a minimum.
Due to the nature of the fix, you might experience performance degradation after the fix is deployed. Unfortunately at this point we can not estimate how big the impact is and we will evaluate if extra resources needs to be added after the fix.
If you want to know more about the technical details of this severe security problem, we like to reference you to the article of the The Register (link below)
The Greenhost Team