Intel pushes back against widespread CPU bug reports

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A flaw in the design affects almost all processors of Intel, AMD and ARM, used in most computers based on Windows, Linux and macOS, as well as smart phones and other devices, according to publication The Register.

Late Wednesday, Intel confirmed news reports of a security issue related to its central processing units and said it is working with other chipmakers and operating system companies to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve the issue.

X Intel shares lost 1.8% to close at 44.43 on the stock market today, though they had been off more than 3% earlier in the session.

Intel paid hundreds of millions of dollars to recall its Pentium processors after the 1994 discovery of the "FDIV bug" that revealed rare but real calculation errors.

"In addition, many operating system vendors, public cloud service providers, device manufacturers and others have indicated that they have already updated their products and services", the company said."In addition, many operating system vendors, public cloud service providers, device manufacturers and others have indicated that they have already updated their products and services", the company said.

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Of course there is a chance cybercriminals and hostile actors will try to use this time to get the unaware to download and install false software marked as a patch. The reason this flaw is much more complex than the usual software or hardware bugs is that it's more than just a bug that can be fixed with an update. They're not worthless, but they're also not comprehensive and are even likely to slow down computers with older processors.

Intel stated that its chips are working as specified, which suggests that the "flaw" can be more accurately described as an "exploit" that attackers could take advantage of. While technical details concerning the glitch are dense, basically, kernel memory information is being leaked, which hackers could seize to inject malicious malware into a PC. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that effect.

Google agrees. In a blog posted on Thursday, the tech giant says it created a technique called "Retpoline" that protects against the attack with minimal impact on performance. This includes laptops, desktops, smartphones, and cloud servers.