Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Intel Says Range of Chips Vulnerable to Hack, Denies 'Bug'

Intel Says Range of Chips Vulnerable to Hack, Denies 'Bug'

Without offering details, Intel suggests that "the performance impact of [its] updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time". The computing industry is scrambling to lessen the severity of the problem with updates to operating systems, web browsers, cloud-computing services and other foundations that need to be kept secure.

A laptop that uses Intel's sixth-generation Core chip known as Skylake, at the Intel booth during CES International in Las Vegas on January 7, 2016. It says the impact "should not be significant and will be mitigated over time" and that the majority of processors shipped in the last five years have already been updated. The techniques essentially makes the computer speculate which command or path to take.

On Thursday, Apple confirmed that all Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but that no known exploits have impacted its customers.

Unauthorized access will be hard to detect so cloud-computing providers need to act quickly to protect against these vulnerabilities, said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity at Proofpoint.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold more than $20 million worth of company stock after his company had been informed of a massive cybersecurity flaw in its chips and prior to the company publicly disclosing the flaw. This gives an attacker capabilities that bypass the common operating system security controls that we've relied on for 20 years.

Users are advised to keep the automatic updates functionality on their machines enabled to receive the security updates for Intel CPU bug at the earliest, possibly via system update or the vendor's PC management app. "Most of the software vendors welcome that interaction as long as you see this disclosure in private first, so you have a chance to fix the bugs". Manufacturers including Apple, Microsoft, and Google have worked tirelessly to release updates that patch the bugs.

Computer security researchers recently disclosed two security flaws named Meltdown and Spectre that affects devices using processors from Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings.

Microsoft and Google have said they expect few performance problems for most of their cloud computing customers. Worse is the fact you can do nothing about it, as the slowdown is a side effect of fixing a major design flaw in Intel processors. The problem impacts processors going back more than two decades and could let hackers access passwords, encryption keys or sensitive information open in applications. However, the vulnerability and the related exploits didn't become public until this week. This means that all mobile devices that use ARM architecture (and that's pretty much all of them) are now in danger of attack.

Google has notified that Android devices on the latest security patch are protected.

Like this: