Intel Issues Meltdown, Spectre Patches For Newer CPUs

Intel Intel meltdown Intel bug Intel security flaw Intel design flaw Intel update Intel processor Intel processor flaws Meltdown What is Meltdown
Meltdown Spectre chip level flaw Intel says it is rapidly issuing updates for all computers servers powered by its processors

14 Enero, 2018

Intel on its part has helped to provide security patches, but the complaints raise concerns that these patches will hurt their computer performance, and aren't the proper solution needed to help resolve the issues.

Amazon told customers of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud service that the vulnerability "has existed for more than 20 years in modern processor architectures".

Chips potentially affected date back more than five years, with some products listed on Intel's website about the vulnerabilities having been introduced as far back as 2008.

Suspiciously, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off $24 million worth of stock late last year, after the problem had been identified, but before it became public knowledge.

The difference here is in the design philosophy used by chip makers which favored speed gains over security in certain situations and will require rethinking future chip designs.

Intel acknowledges that the exploit has "the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed".

Google says it also affects other processors and the devices and operating systems running them. Side channel analysis exploit gives cyber attackers the ability to observe the content of privileged memory, which exploits a speculative execution to go around different privilege levels, Intel explained. Essentially, this means that there either users must wait for an operating system update for a fix, or buy a new processor without the flaw. "However, Intel is making this statement today because of the current inaccurate media reports". Intel is now working with its partners to roll out a fix.

While Intel has been plagued with the Meltdown bug, the Spectre flaw is more widespread and could prove to be incredible difficult to fix. Microsoft has issued security patch for Windows 10 machines that automatically get downloaded to prevent any risk while Apple has confirmed that Meltdown flaw has been fixed with the macOS 10.13.2 update.

According to Intel, 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". Some say performance speeds of Intel computers with older processors could slow down by as much as 30 per cent, though newer Skylake processors might not have face a severe impact. This includes laptops, desktops, smartphones, and cloud servers.

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