Critical Flaw Identified in Intel Processors

Alfred Osborne
January 13, 2018

Indeed, as Microsoft and Google have already released fixes for preventing hackers from exploiting these flaws on devices running their software. The company, however, confirmed that it's not affected by this problem.

Researchers at Google's Project Zero, academic institutions and private companies published their findings on the vulnerabilities on Wednesday.

However, there is no evidence that any hackers have taken advantage of this - yet. Software-based solutions can act as a stop-gap measure against the threat, but until vendors update their chip designs, Spectre will remain a problem. In the meantime, criminal actors and nation states could further develop the Spectre vulnerability, making attacks easier to execute.

If there turns out to be a meaningful performance impact for Intel chips, particularly its data center chips, AMD stands to benefit. "Intel is committed to responsible disclosure". According to Intel "any performance impacts are workload-dependent" and they should "not be significant" to the average computer user.

There's no evidence that bad actors have yet exploited the bugs, but companies from Microsoft to Mozilla said this week they have worked to patch up vulnerabilities to their operating systems and browsers to protect against one of the bugs. So all devices from computers to smartphones to tablets are impacted by the flaws. "These new exploits leverage data about the proper operation of processing techniques common to modern computing platforms, potentially compromising security even though a system is operating exactly as it is created to".

Microsoft said that it has been working with manufacturers to counter vulnerabilities and protect customers.

'By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years'. ARM Holdings said it's working with Intel, AMD and operating system vendors to address the problem.

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"It's a very big deal and the only thing people can do is wait for patches on systems and apply them", said Shuman Ghosemajumder, chief technology officer at Shape Security. However, at this time, AMD said its processors should have "near zero risk", reports Axios.

Intel's CEO sold shares in his company several months after Google informed the chipmaker of a serious security problem affecting its products.

Google's cyber security researchers spotted a major flaw recently in the designing of Intel CPUs and users are not happy at all.

Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years.

"It's a positive thing that we have independent verification - researchers looking for vulnerabilities", Daly said.

Most viruses utilise flaws in software to gain access to your system.

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