Intel has made changes to the license agreement for the updated microcode of its processors. The text mentions the ban on publishing performance testing results. Under the new conditions, users are not allowed to run benchmarks if their results are planned to be shown to third parties.
One of the leaders of Open Source movement Bruce Perens drew attention to the changes. Because the microcode is used for all instructions, the rules apply to the entire processor. At the same time, the ban even applies to performance tests written by users themselves.
Perens believes that the changes in the agreement are due to the company's fear of losing part of the sales. Microcode updates cover vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Specter and reduce processor performance by 5-10%, which can scare off buyers.
According to Bruce Perens, Intel is trying to keep silent about possible problems and makes customers act the same way. He believes that companies should publish updates, but the final decision should be left for users. Vulnerabilities are more dangerous for cloud service providers, so for most common users security patches are not relevant.
The mass release of security updates for processors began in January 2018. Intel found a serious vulnerability, which allows reading information from the kernel's private memory.