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Intel details rollout of Meltdown and Spectre security updates


It has only been a few days since security researchers revealed major processor vulnerabilities affecting a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and already at least three class-action lawsuits have been filed against Intel.

So, how then can Intel claim to grant its chips immunity to this hole? One of the bugs which is rooted in Intel processors that purportedly allows miscreants to access device kernel memory data, a potential threat that once exploited can easily disclose passwords and other important credentials.

The public can find more details about the vulnerabilities on a new website the researchers created detailing the issue.

"We assume that's secure, but what this shows is that we can't necessarily make those assumptions".

The New York Times reported one flaw, Spectre, could require a processor redesign.

Google discovered the processor security vulnerability last year and informed Intel about it in June.

They also cite the alleged computer slowdown that will be caused by the fixes needed to address the security concerns, although Intel disputes that this will be the case. In addition, the heat on Intel intensified after it was learned that its CEO, Bryan Krzanich, sold off millions of dollars of Intel stock after the disclosure.

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Intel's share price has fallen since the Meltdown and Spectre flaws became common knowledge.

As it's a chip-level flaw, the bug affects virtually every operating system, including Linux, macOS and Windows.

Intel also plans to design future chip architecture to prevent the exploits. Most users, though, won't see much of an impact, likely only as much as 2 percent, said Steve Smith, head of Intel's data center engineering operations, during a conference call on Wednesday.

While CERT/CC has withdrawn its recommendation to replace processors, US-CERT - a related group that operates officially under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security - has yet to update its own bulletin, issued earlier on Thursday.

The executives clarified, however, that the performance impact will be negligible when it comes to average PC users. It also published a support page with more information. That bulletin still warns that chips may need to be replaced. While the effects of this flaw might not appear instantly this could slow down your CPU in the long run. That's going to take time.

Google has already addressed the bug in Android phones with the January 5 security update for the operating system.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said the "majority" of Azure infrastructure had been updated to deal with the vulnerability. His fire sale of sorts was part of a 10b5-1 plan, which is a mechanism designed to help corporate insiders avoid accusation of insider trading by setting up plans to sell predetermined numbers of shares at a specific time.

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