March 21, 2018

Intel Hit With Class Action Lawsuits Over 'Meltdown' Security Flaw

13 January 2018, 01:53 | Cameron Gross

Illustration Natascha Eibl

An orange shield melting

Intel said in a press release, before the end of next week, that they fix 90% of the affected devices released in the last five years. Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Linux, the three major operating systems, are all issuing updates, though the Apple and Microsoft have not said precisely when.

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.

What's not quite so clear is the price you'll pay when those updates are installed.

Competing chip maker AMD has told Linux developers by email that its chips are not vulnerable to the types of attacks that the fix for the Intel chip is meant to address by isolating the kernel memory, The Register said.

Banks and other firms are trying to understand what it will cost to respond to the issue, FS-ISAC said in an emailed statement. And the performance generally isn't a problem, he said: "For the real-world's minimal impact".

Chipmaker Intel (INTC) and its partners have made "significant progress" in deploying software patches and firmware updates to correct recent security problems found in its processors, Intel said Thursday. In layman's terms, the modern processors within these devices have security vulnerabilities that allow both of these threats to use programs to steal data that the device processes. They've also been trying to reassure customers that those fixes will not slow down computing performance as much as originally feared.

But Intel said in a statement after US stock markets closed on Thursday that the performance impact of the recent security updates should not be significant and would be mitigated over time. It added that it "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".

Yes, the company is talking about mitigating the mitigation. Mike Ybarra, Xbox platform lead, tweeted that the security architecture of Xbox already includes mitigation against Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Its shares fell 2 percent Thursday.

The US government's Computer Emergency Response Team initially indicated in a bulletin that only a hardware fix would solve the problem, but then removed that from an update.

Further, Reuters quoting researchers said that Apple and Microsoft are keeping patches ready for personal devices (computers) affected by Meltdown vulnerability. The material defect lets hackers compromise the privileged memory of Intel's processors by exploiting the way processes run in parallel.

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