Abril 21, 2018

Intel scrambles to protect systems from security flaws

13 Enero 2018, 03:35 | Dolorita Barahona

Meltdown Spectre chip level flaw Intel says it is rapidly issuing updates for all computers servers powered by its processors

Intel Intel meltdown Intel bug Intel security flaw Intel design flaw Intel update Intel processor Intel processor flaws Meltdown What is Meltdown

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says that the company is looking to fix the security vulnerabilities via updates and does not see a need for a recall.

A security flaw has been found in virtually all Intel processors that will require fixes within Windows, macOS and Linux, according to reports. It was later learned that AMD and ARM hardware are susceptible too, specifically to Spectre.

It has been discovered that a performance feature called speculative execution present on nearly all modern computing system to optimise performance.

Intel on Thursday began issuing patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities linked to its processors.

Last year, a team of Google researchers stumbled upon the hardware issue, which actually involves three separate vulnerabilities, and the computer industry had been collaborating in secret on a fix. One of the concerns is that the updates may slow performance but Krzanich has denied this.

There are no guarantees, but there are some steps you can take to help protect yourself.

Intel has detailed its plans to begin the fight against the Meltdown and Spectre security exploits that shocked the world this week.

Intel is closely working with the rivals AMD and ARM to fix the critical security loophole as soon as possible. The complaints, compiled and published by Gizmodo, were filed in Oregon, California, and Indiana by individuals who own Intel CPU-based computers.

The filing showed that the sales were part of a 10b5-1 plan, which was created on Oct. 30, just a month before Krzanich sold the shares.

The flaws are unlikely to hit the average American in the same way that incidents like the Equifax data breach did.

To improve performance, most processors try to guess what the computer program is going to do in the future.

Indeed, as Microsoft and Google have already released fixes for preventing hackers from exploiting these flaws on devices running their software. "Google Cloud is architected in a manner that enables us to update the environment while providing operational continuity for our customers". This goes across multiple types of devices, manufacturers and operating systems. However, now that everyone knows that these vulnerabilities exist, hackers have probably been hard at work on exploits that they could use. Apple partially patched the vulnerability in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 in early December, developer Alex Ionescu tweeted, adding that more safeguards will be included in version 10.13.3.

Security researchers revealed the existence of Meltdown and Spectre on Wednesday. The platforms such as Microsoft's Azure and Amazon EC2 will be mostly affected.

The researchers at Google showed how a hacker could exploit the flaw to get passwords, encryption codes and more, even though there have been no reports of any attacks using the vulnerability.

Since the exact bug is under heavy embargo due to its nature, no other details are available. And the company now faces class-action lawsuits, including one in Oregon, alleging "material defects" in its technology.

"From these traces, we can find out some information about the data that it was processing", Dr Yarom explained.

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