Intel hit with three class-action lawsuits over chip flaws

Intel hit with three class-action lawsuits over chip flaws

Intel and Microsoft officials each emphasized they had no evidence the issues had been exploited, and Google's Android unit said it was unaware of "any successful reproduction of these vulnerabilities that would allow unauthorized information disclosure on any ARM-based Android device".

And a USA government-backed body warned that the chips themselves need to be replaced to completely fix the problems. There's been no report so far of anyone's computer being attacked in this manner, but in theory this puts important data at risk. The flaw leaves your personal devices vulnerable to attack.

We're talking billions of devices-computers, smartphones, tablets and even the cloud.

In recent days, some have speculated that the KPTI technique would cause "significant performance slowdowns", especially for cloud services.

Modern processors guess what they'll have to do next and fetch the data they think they'll need. The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information. "More specifically, all modern processors capable of keeping many instructions in flight are potentially vulnerable".

Government agencies issued statements warning users about the vulnerabilities.

Advice from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team's was grim.

The institute said that "fully removing the vulnerability requires replacing vulnerable [processor] hardware".

But while the problem is serious, and an inherent part of how most modern computer processors are created to function, there are already efforts to minimize the impact and help you get on with your life.

Meltdown was discovered by Google researcher Jann Horn, Werner Haas and Thomas Prescher of Cyberus Technology, Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Stefan Mangard and Michael Schwarz of Graz University of Technology. Researchers also said they can't confirm if Spectre or Meltdown have been executed "in the wild".

Intel also plans to design future chip architecture to prevent the exploits.

Hardware vendors, operating system makers, and cloud computing companies quickly announced early steps to address the issues Wednesday. A spokesperson said Krzanich's sale was "unrelated". After all, the console uses the AMD Jaguar chip, which is one of those affected by the security issues.

Many companies have already been rolling out software updates.

Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.

Tech website The Register was first to report the processor flaws on Tuesday. "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", the chipmaker said in a press release. The company said it had planned to make vulnerabilities public next week.

Amazon said in a statement most of its cloud computing machines affected by the flaw are already protected, but it is updating the rest on Wednesday. Linux has made available patches for their kernel (32-bit) while work on 64-bit/ARM is underway.

Home users aren't at any more risk than usual when new bugs and flaws are discovered, as long as you install your updates.

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