Intel Facing Multiple Lawsuits Over Chip Security Flaw
The last couple of days have been frantic for the tech community. Ever since Google released two documents detailing the security flaws in almost every CPU in the world right now, the consumers have patiently waited for a fix for their devices. Some, however, have decided to take matters into their own hands. Owners of Intel-based CPUs in Oregon, California and Indiana have sued Intel over the security flaws that have been highlighted in its chipset.
They claim that the vulnerability in the chipset, which Intel learned about several months ago, make its chips inherently faulty. Intel has provided security patches ever since, but, the complaints raise concerns that these patches will hinder the performance of their computers and is not an adequate response to the serious issues raised against the company’s products.
A couple of days ago, Google along with other security researchers released a couple of documents which chronicled the major security flaws in Intel, AMD, and ARM processors. 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. The flaw lies in the middle, at the level of the processors’ “architectures,” in the way all the millions of transistors and logic units work together to carry out tasks.
Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware bugs allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include passwords stored in a password manager or browser, personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.
Google announced a fix for one Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability each and claimed that these fixes won’t result in system slowdowns which was feared by many.