Meltdown, Spectre chip flaws raise questions about hardware security

Meltdown, Spectre chip flaws raise questions about hardware security

"Spectre" can affect computers, phones and tablets. The company says that is "has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems", but it is not clear when - or whether - older devices will be treated to patches.

The executives clarified, however, that the performance impact will be negligible when it comes to average PC users.

Technology companies are working to protect their customers after researchers revealed that major security flaws affecting almost every modern computer processor could allow hackers to steal stored data - including passwords and other sensitive information - on desktops, laptops, mobile phones and cloud networks around the globe. Engineers at Google originally detected the flaw and wrote in a blog post it could affect Intel, AMD, and ARM chips. "We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities had been used to attack our customers", Microsoft said in a statement.

However, later on Thursday afternoon, CERT/CC withdrew that recommendation, saying merely that anybody affected should install operating system updates as soon as possible. Gruss said Meltdown was the more serious problem in the short term but could be decisively stopped with software patches.

More news: Hillary Clinton tweets about Trump's 'ignorant, racist views'
More news: Winter weather advisory from midnight to noon Thursday
More news: Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) Given Coverage Optimism Score of 0.15

Virtually every modern computing device is affected by the flaws, leaving technology companies scrambling to release patches to mitigate the threat, which could otherwise leave sensitive information exposed to hackers. The chip-makers have issued contradictory statements downplaying the severity of the bugs, but security experts are less sanguine. The flaws were first reported by tech publication The Register. That feature has been used in nearly every Intel processor since 1995, and is used by many AMD and ARM processors today. Fixes will involves software and firmware updates on both the hardware and the software sides. 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".

Not patching the vulnerability not only puts the data in the chip memory at risk, but also provides an entry point to critical servers and the entire corporate network.

The release goes on to tout the "great progress" Intel has made in just days since news of these security flaws was broken by Google Project Zero, a team of security analysts employed by Google tasked with finding zero-day vulnerabilities. The majority of devices are already protected by regular software updates the firms have said.

The electronics giant urged consumers and businesses to check with operating system vendors and device manufacturers for updates.

Related Articles

  • Trump lawyer files lawsuits over dossier

    Trump lawyer files lawsuits over dossier

    Cohen has emerged as a figure of interest to congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the 2016 election. BuzzFeed , Politico , ABC , the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also have stories .
    Dark Souls: Remastered is coming to several new platforms

    Dark Souls: Remastered is coming to several new platforms

    Its terrors emanate from its very core, each step bringing you closer to another inevitable death. It first released in 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC as a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls .
    New 'Teen Titans GO' Movie Trailer Released

    New 'Teen Titans GO' Movie Trailer Released

    Teen Titans GO! To The Movies will also feature Will Arnett as the voice of Slade and Kristen Bell as Jade Wilson. The trailer starts off with the Teen Titans giving fans what they know they want - Wonder Woman .
  • Dark Souls coming to Nintendo Switch

    Dark Souls coming to Nintendo Switch

    The Dark Souls Trilogy Box Set releases in Japan on May 24, and hasn't been announced for the west as of press time. The World Ends With You: Final Remix will be available for the Switch sometime this year.
    Facebook news feed changes 'deeply significant' for publishing industry

    Facebook news feed changes 'deeply significant' for publishing industry

    Fall in shares has reached up to 6.1% ahead of the open market, following the closing just below the flatline on Thursday. With the latest update, the company says it's focusing on what Facebook is for - connecting with people you know.
    All the Nintendo Direct Mini news and announcements

    All the Nintendo Direct Mini news and announcements

    Even though the teaser doesn't show us any gameplay footage, it does give us an important detail by revealing a release date. Amazon is taking pre-orders for Dark Souls Remastered on Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One for $39.99 each.
  • Animaniacs Will Return with New (and Old) Seasons on Hulu

    Animaniacs Will Return with New (and Old) Seasons on Hulu

    Animaniacs follows the Warner siblings and their escape from the Warner Bros. tower after being locked inside for a long time. And fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain will also return to make appearances in each episode.
    Jordan Spieth six off the lead after late quadruple-bogey — Sony Open

    Jordan Spieth six off the lead after late quadruple-bogey — Sony Open

    He finished with six birdies overall, before rolling in a 17-footer for an eagle on the par five ninth. Japan's Daisuke Kataoka and Americans Peter Malnati, Matt Every and Tom Hoge all shot 65.
    Del Potro too strong for Shapovalov By

    Del Potro too strong for Shapovalov By

    Former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Roberto Bautista Agut will meet Saturday in the final of the ATP Tour's ASB Classic. Bautista Agut, meanwhile, beat Robin Haase in three sets, all of which went to tie-breaks in a near three-hour slugfest.
  • Micron Technology (MU) Rating Reiterated by Credit Suisse Group

    Micron Technology (MU) Rating Reiterated by Credit Suisse Group

    Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schroder Investment Management Group sold 740,666 shares as the company's stock rose 19.14% with the market.
    Trump Draws A Red Line On Wall Funding For DACA Fix

    Trump Draws A Red Line On Wall Funding For DACA Fix

    Just 24 hours earlier he had said that he would not sign any bill to codify DACA that did not include funding for the border wall. He also denied demanding that Haitians be removed from negotiations about protected status for people from certain countries.

    Caspian Capital LP Boosted Its Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC) Position

    The returns on assets were -0.20% that gives an idea about how efficient management is at using its assets to generate earnings. The rating scale runs from 1 to 5 with 5 indicating a Strong Sell, 1 indicating a Strong Buy and 3 indicating a Hold.