Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Google has Revealed Serious Malfunctions in Intel's Chips and Other Manufacturers

Google has Revealed Serious Malfunctions in Intel's Chips and Other Manufacturers

In a statement released Wednesday, Intel attempted to downplay worries about the hardware issue, saying it believes hackers "do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data".

"It's a big one and it's a severe one". "There's big impact on both the consumer and enterprise".

Applying the operating system upgrades created to remedy the flaw could hamper performance, security experts said.

The lawsuit said the patches could "dramatically" degrade performance of affected systems, giving customers the "unappealing choice" of deciding whether to replace the processor, buy a new computer with one that is not vulnerable, install updates that degrade performance, or do nothing and risk getting hacked. The sale allowed Krzanich to whittle his holdings down to about 250,000 shares, the minimum he is required to own under Intel's rules.

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"This is a black eye for Intel and a natural beneficiary is AMD in the arms race on the chip side", said Dan Ives, head of tech research at GBH Insights. All modern microprocessors, including those that run smartphones, are built to essentially guess what functions they're likely to be asked to run next. The fix being proposed will definitely result in slower operating times, but reports of slowdowns of 25 percent to 30 percent are "worst-case" scenarios, he said. But what sounds unusual to some people and raises eyebrows is that the sale was made months after Google told Intel about the scary vulnerabilities in their processors that exist at the fundamental level.

Intel said Thursday it originally wanted to publicly disclose the problem with its micro-processors next week, but was forced to address it earlier because of media reports featuring the vulnerabilities.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., identified the researcher as Jann Horn.

While Meltdown is specific to Intel processors, and can be patched, Spectre affects Intel, AMD and ARM processors - meaning nearly every device that uses a chip - and is harder to fix.

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Google says Android devices with the latest security update installed are already protected, while users of the Chrome web browser and Chromebook computers may need to download an update.

"We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities had been used to attack our customers", Microsoft said.

Apple Inc. didn't respond to requests for comment about how the chip issue may be affecting the company's operating systems.

It is possible to remove this vulnerability by using the so-called software "crutches", Nikitin said.

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